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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Thanks to the Weather, We're Back to Comfort Food

Rainy, chilly weather.  Grilling season is on hold.

Back to comfort food.  Is it called comfort food because of the way it makes us feel or because I'm so comfortable making it?

If you omit the broccoli and basil, and swap in heavy cream for light and fettucine for the penne, the following recipe would be classic Fettucine Alfredo.

I just can't bring myself to use a stick of butter and two cups of heavy cream in the same recipe. 

I add some broccoli for psychological reasons.  It makes me feel healthy.

I add lots of basil because........well, if you've read this post , you know why.

Penne pasta was requested, so I obliged. 

It may not be the classic recipe but it's still smooth, creamy and oh-so-easy to prepare.

Pasta Alfredo with Broccoli
  • 1 lb of your favorite pasta
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 2 cups light cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup shredded basil
Bring a large pot of salted water (6 to 8 quart pot) to a boil (for the pasta).

While you are waiting for the water to boil, prepare the sauce.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.

Add the cream, garlic powder and pepper.

Disclaimer:  these are not my hands in the pictures.  My nails are not as lovely as these.  I wanted to take an action shot and didn't trust that I could shoot a picture with one hand while adding ingredients with the other.
My daughter eagerly agreed to be a hand model.
Stir the sauce to combine your ingredients, and let it simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it thickens.

The pasta water should be boiling by now, so add your pasta to the water and cook according to package directions.

While the pasta and sauce cook, prep the remaining ingredients.
Cut your broccoli into bite-sized florets.  Zap them for a minute or two on "high" in your microwave, just long enough to soften them slightly.

Stack your basil leaves and slice them to shreds.
Although I prefer to top my pasta dishes with freshly shredded Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, nothing beats Kraft grated Parmesan for blending into this sauce.
Look how nicely the sauce has thickened up.  Add the grated cheese and stir.

By now, your pasta should be done.  Drain the pasta and return it to the pot you cooked it in.

Add the sauce, broccoli and basil to the pasta and stir to combine.
Serve and enjoy!  Top with additional shredded basil and freshly grated cheese, if desired.  Add salt and pepper, to taste.

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