Saturday, July 23, 2011

Pasta with Garlic Parmesan Cream Sauce-- my vacation prep recipes {part 2}-

So after a wonderful time as a family in the Traverse City area, Titus and I said goodbye to Tim and are now in PA visiting my family for 10 days! It's so nice for him to be with his grandparents who he doesn't get to see very often. He's loving his time with them, and is being such a joy! I'm particularly proud of how he's doing after our 6 am flight and lack of sleep! Thanks to the videos Tim downloaded onto my ipod, the empty seat next to me on the plane, and lots of snacks, he did amazing on the flight! And I think we're pretty much caught up on our sleep too!

My big boy on his first flight!

Titus with his Papa

Preparing for vacation can be such a stressful time! All I wanted to do last weekend was get fast food so that I didn't have to take the time to cook or dirty up a lot of dishes. BUT my hubby was gone for the weekend shooting a wedding so I didn't have a vehicle! Grr! So I made a couple one-pot favorites that I've modified from other recipes to use up some the food I had on hand. Yesterday I shared the recipe for Potato Corn Chowder (w/ Bacon!).

The second dinner I made was a modification of Olive Garden’s Tuscan Garlic Chicken recipe that I LOVE! I didn’t feel like dealing with thawing, breading and frying chicken, so I just made the pasta and cream sauce part of the dish, which really is my favorite part! Because I was trying to use up produce in the fridge before our vacation, I used a couple more ingredients than it called for. It ended up being a lot heartier of a pasta dish, and I actually liked it better than the original! So here’s how I made it, but feel free to get creative and add what you have on hand, are trying to get rid of, or what just plain sounds good! :)

Angel Hair with Garlic Parmesan Cream Sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
3 Tbls EVOO
½ cup white wine (I usually use cooking wine, however it’s NOT what I prefer since there’s so much sodium added to the cooking wine. But it does provide similar results and depth of flavor for a cheaper cost.)
1 Tbls flour
2 cups heavy cream (or half and half)
2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
½ can of diced tomatoes (drained)
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled (You could use more. It was leftover from the chowder the night before)
1 lb spaghetti-type pasta

 Bring a pot of water to a boil for your pasta to cook in! You don’t want to forget to do this till the end! The original recipe uses fettuccini; I used angel hair. Thinner pastas hold more sauce! :)

 Saute garlic and pepper in large pan with EVOO for  3-5 minutes, until peppers are soft. (My pepper is yellow, just so you’re not wondering where it is in the picture) Stir in flour, and almost immediately add the wine to deglaze the pan. (Mmm! My favorite part!) Stir until the flour desolves into the wine and then add the cream. You can also use half and half to make it a bit less bad for you! This particular time, I only had a cup of cream (leftover from some scones I made), so for the other cup I used whole milk. (Just don’t ever use only milk with this recipe- I did once, and it didn’t turn out good! The cream sauce was kind of translucent and had a weird texture.) Anyways, after you add the cream, let it come to a bubble and add the spinach. I also spooned in half a can of diced tomatoes. I loved this addition, however next time I’ll probably used the petite diced ones. Be sure to drain them too! (Sauteed mushrooms would probably be delicious in this as well!) Once the spinach wilts, stir in the cheese until melted. (I’ve forgotten that step a couple times- believe me, you can really taste the difference!) Add your cooked pasta to the sauce and mix well. Sprinkle bacon on top. Serve hot!

 Let me know if you try this recipe or yesterday's potato corn chowder recipe, and if you try anything different! Enjoy!


Bartenders License Online said... [Reply]

This really looks delicious with lots of twists. I'm definitely craving for a plate of that right now. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe. This is definitely a must do recipe this weekend since I got my Food Safety Training.