Even though we are spending more time at home, I don’t find that personally translates into wanting to cook long, complicated dishes. I especially don’t want to make 5 pans dirty that I then have to clean up. Any one else?
This creamy spring pasta is quick, easy, and doesn’t make a ton of pans dirty. I could even lie to my children and say it was like mac and cheese, so they ate it. Wins all around. It LOOKS there is alfredo, but this is a mornay sauce. What is the difference? Mornay sauce is a béchamel sauce with cheese added to it. Béchamel is a roux based sauce, so like how this macaroni and cheese starts. Alfredo sauce is technically a sauce made by reducing cream, but many recipes start with a basic béchamel recipe. All of that was a convoluted way of explaining why I didn’t call this alfredo. Hope you enjoy it no matter what you call it!
Creamy Spring Pasta (Serves 4-6)
1 lb pasta (any medium shape would work, penne, rigatoni, bowties)
1 bunch asparagus, chopped (about 1 – 1 ½ cups chopped)
¾ cup frozen peas
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 tablespoons flour
2 cups skim milk
1 can chopped artichoke hearts, rinsed and drained well, chopped
½ cup parmesan, divided
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1. Boil pasta without salt or oil according to time on package. With 6 minutes left, add asparagus to pot with pasta. With 2 minutes left, add peas. Drain all well.
2. Meanwhile, melt butter in medium saucepan. Add garlic, cook stirring, for about 1 minute. Add flour. Whisk together for 1-2 minutes. Stir in milk, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Cook over medium heat, whisking frequently, until desired thickness, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in ¼ cup parmesan cheese.
3. Add pasta, asparagus, peas, and artichoke hearts to cooked sauce. Stir well. Top with parmesan. Serve with extra parmesan at the table.
Nutritional Information: (Amount per serving)
Protein: 18 g
Fat: 8 g
Saturated fat: 4 g
Cholesterol: 19 mg
Carbohydrates: 74 g
Fiber: 6 g
Sodium: 275 mg
Recipe notes: You could mix up the vegetables here with whatever you have on hand and like. These were just nice spring flavors.
Source: Adapted from Food Network and NYT Cooking (recipe was free but now is behind paywall, so no link, sorry!).