Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Basil Cream Pasta

Warning: The pictures and recipe you are about to see are not for the low carb, no sodium, non-fat, low cal eaters. The pictures and recipe you are about to view could easily raise your blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose level, white blood cell count, kidney output, credit card limit, taxes, fertility, and credit score. You have been warned.

I'm obsessed with this dish. And while it is not the healthiest of choices--you will hardly find it in the Hungry Girl cookbook, possibly not even in the Paula Dean cookbook--we only average this dish about 2 times a month. It's delicious and not too expensive to make. It's simple and only requires a few ingredients that are easily found and changed out if you prefer something else. Let me tell you how my first--and only--original recipe came to be.

I have a gigantic stack of cookbooks. I love them. I love their pictures and ideas. And this past Christmas my wonderful sister, Jackie, gifted me The Pioneer Woman Cookbook. As I turned each page and found a reason to kiss every single pictured recipe I realized this was a cookbook I actually wanted to use, not like those other 30 cookbooks I liked to have around but never use. So, I decided to start a "Recipe Jar". I went through all my cookbooks and wrote down the recipes I actually wanted to try to make. I threw them all in a jar and once a week I pull out one or two to try. Well, I have a bunch of recipes saved on my Google Reader and by bunch I mean enough to make a whole entire cookbook out of. I had a recipe saved that was about Basil Cream Chicken. One night I read through the ingredients and the first couple instructions and started. As it turned out, I made the entire recipe totally wrong but what I got was a delicious recipe instead. In fact, it was the first thing Mr. E ever gave me a 10 for. (We do a numerical rating system when it comes to my cooking. I rarely get a 10 for reason I find pretty darn weird, but that's another story.)

So, I've made this a dozen times since! And it's delicious! Mr. E claims he can tell when I make it with anything besides the mixed cheese but I can't. He must jsut have a distinctive palate. I typically don't measure out the ingredients because it just tastes better when you add things based on taste, so my recipe is just a basic guideline. The amount I make always leaves enough for leftovers which are DELICIOUS! Just be aware that when you open up the sauce the next day the oil will separate from the cream. Just stir it back together and heat. Oh my goodness, it's heavenly.

Don't tell anyone, but I just had my third bowl.

Basil Cream Pasta

  • Pasta of your choice (I recommend something tubular, it's always nice when you have something sauce can get trapped in! Also, just make however much you want. I usually make enough for three servings so Mr. E can have some the next day. Sometimes, I just make a whole box so we can both have some the next day.
  • 1 cup heavy cream (I promise this is something you can go a little less on. The whole sauce is based around how much cream you use so you may have to adjust the rest of the recipes based on how much cream you use.)
  • 8 oz. of shredded Italian Six-Cheese blend (This blend has mozzarella, provolone, asiago, parmesan, romano, and fontina. If you run out of the six-cheese blend, help yourself to whatever kind of Italian cheese you have lying around. But don't tell your husband, he'll be able to tell on his own later.)
  • 1-2 pinches of salt, this is based on taste. I usually put a little bit more in but I'm a salty person. Remember I mentioned this recipe not being for no/low sodium people?
  • 1/2-1 T. of dried basil leaves (I usually put a bit more in for this because I love the taste of dried basil)
Start making your pasta. I'm assuming you all out there know how to make pasta. If not, the instructions are on the side of the box. Start there. Just make sure you listen to Giada and REALLY salt the water. Remember, pasta has no taste so salt the water to bring flavor.

Pour cream into a small saucepan over medium heat. Once the cream is warm, not HOT, but warm (I just test with my finger, are you disgusted?) pour in your cheese and stir it slowly to move the cheese around as it melts. Once the cheese is melted, add the salt and basil. I think you should add it here because the basil taste really is able to soak into the cheese and sauce mix.

Once the pasta is finished cooking to your liking, drain and scoop the desired amount into your bowl. The sauce will thicken the longer you leave it on the heat so just leave until you are comfortable. Then pour over your pasta and ENJOY!

And don't email/text/facebook/comment/twitter me if you have a heart attack/stroke/pulmonary embolism/blood clot/constipation/diarrhea etc. While I don't expect any of these things to happen, I do expect extreme happiness after consuming.

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