On tonight's menu was one of my most favoritest pastas. I have a weakness for cheese. No, like seriously, if I were stranded on a desert island and was allowed to bring only a handful of items- one of them would be CHEESE. I could *live*
on cheese. OH...haha...I probably actually do
Okay, okay...back to the show. I adore pasta and mexican dishes. I love to cook them...I love to eat them....YUM!
Now, normally I'd pop open one of my favorite wines bc I love pasta and wine nights! But sadly, no wine here. Turns out beer stores (literally- they sell BEER....period)
are on every corner but a place that sells liquor, wine, etc
...not so easily available. WTF right?! Thus far I've been able to find one little store that carries my beloved Skinnygirl
products and Menage a' Trois wine
...Mmmm..... I've never been a red wine type of a girl. I've always enjoyed light, fruity, white wines UNTIL I accidentally discovered how much I love one red wine. Roxy and her hottie hubby are big wine connoisseurs and they are always experimenting (with wine people! Get your minds out of the gutter! Pervs! *snort*)
. Anywho. No wine here. Not tonight. So beer it had to be.
- 1- 16oz box uncooked Penne pasta (or whatever is your favorite shaped pasta)
- Cooking spray
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/2 Cups chopped onion
- 5 cloves garlic, minced (garlic is a staple ingredient for us, LOVE the stuff...and considering we live near Transylvania, it's a good thing! Haha...the little guy -also obsessed with vampires- can't seem to get it through his silly head that we live no where near Transylvania *shaking head*)
- 1 Tablespoon flour
- 2 Cups milk (we use 1% here, you can use whatever you fancy)
- 1- 14.5oz can diced Italian tomatoes, drained
- 7oz cream cheese or Nuefchatel (it has 1/3 less fat than cream cheese and I find it has a more 'creamy' texture and taste than non-fat cream cheese)
- 3/4 Cups -3 oz- shredded mozzarella cheese (ok, I've already outed myself regarding this...um, ha...I use a GENEROUS amount)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 2 Tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (dried if fine too if you don't have fresh available to you, I adore fresh herbs and grow my own when I can)
- (optional) 1 lb browned/drained ground sirloin or Italian sausage (obviously bc I'm a vegetarian I don't add any meat, but you certainly could. If you were to, I would suggest adding it to the garlic and onion after sauteing, before you add the flour)
1. Preheat broiler.
2. Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente (bc you will be placing this dish under the broiler later, you don't want your pasta to turn mushy and icky)
. Drain and set aside.
3. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Swirl to coat. Add garlic, saute 1 min, stirring constantly. Add onion, saute 4min, stirring occasionally. Add flour, cook 1min (again with my sea level altitude I have found 30 seconds or less to be plenty)
, stirring frequently. Stir in milk, tomatoes and cream cheese; whisking until smooth. Bring to a simmer. Cook 2 min or until thoroughly heated. Stir in pasta.
4. Spoon pasta mixture into a 13x9 broiler safe baking dish, coated with baking spray. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle mozzarella evenly (and abundantly!)
over top. Broil for 4min or until golden brown. Sprinkle with parsley.
***I'm feeding a household of four so this dish does make quite a bit...you could certainly half this if you find it makes too much or aren't a fan of left-overs. The original recipe (before I tweaked it) called for only 8oz of pasta but I found it MUCH too...thin and saucy. My version is way, way yummier.
Ta-Da! So what you have here is the sweet, tastiness of the tomatoes combined with cheesey, garlicy, gooey yumminess. SM is NOT a fan of tomatoes but they are a necessary ingredient, fortunately they are large enough for him to pick out as he pleases and the tomatoes by no means overpower the dish. Serve with garlic bread (sometimes I use the kind from the frozen food section, other times, like tonight, I make my own- which SM says he prefers anyways *grins*)
and a fresh salad. Again, kiddos gobbled it up. Yay me!
If you look below, notice something new? YEP! You can now Pin me! You know you wanna.... *wicked grins*
Leave a Reply