So there’s this one recipe of mine which gets made in our household at least once a week coz we all tend to crave for it at some point, hehe. It came about after I was inspired to become more of a ’sneaky chef’ thanks to someone’s resistance over vegs. So if you have a toddler who’s in the same boat as mine, I highly recommend your try this recipe out. If you love rich pasta with creamy sauce, I also highly recommend you try this recipe out. If you love cheese, I highly recommend you try this recipe out. If you prefer simple and easy cooking, I highly recommend you try this recipe out.
In short, try this recipe out la wei.
The ingredients are pretty basis. You only need onions (or garlic will do), one cup or whole bottle of thickened/ whipping cream, milk, baby spinach or spinach, shredded cheese, prepared pesto (feel free to make your own) together with some additional spices. Its amazing how these simple ingredients can put together such a rich comfort food. But at the same time, simple ingredients sometimes can be the hardest to make-take aglio olio for instance – the recipe screams EASY as stealing candy from a baby yet its not exactly the easiest recipe to put together. The irony.
Also a note, I’ve prepared these using both full cream option and also using low-fat whipping cream and skim milk option – both ways have come out decent so if you’re concern with calorie count, try the low-fat/skim option!
I didn’t really take a full pictorial guide but nevertheless, first step is to add one tablespoon butter with some olive oil and fry about one small chopped onions until aromatic. I would suggest white onion as they go better with Italian cooking.
Good old red onion (oh bawang merah!) would do too otherwise.
Once done, add in one cup baby spinach and fry until its soft! Though most times I use this method, I have also added one small clove garlic, baby spinach , olive oil and some water into the food processor before I bring it to the pan because that truly dissolves or leaves (pun har har) no spinach trails but I noticed with this method, the end results become less thick so if you prefer your sauce not thick,I would recommend this method.
This is how green your pot will look like before adding it the whipping cream with the food-processing method! Bound to scare any toddler away, lol.
Back to the other method, once your spinach is soft, add in one cup whipping cream or the whole 300ml bottle into the pot. Then add in one cup milk. You can add in some pepper, very little salt (salty bits will come from the cheese), generous amounts of garlic powder coupled with some dashes of oregano leaves. But if you don’t have these, just good old black pepper and salt will do.
Stir the pot and after 30 seconds, add in 5-6 tablespoon of good quality prepared pesto. You may opt to make your own pesto if time and hard-working-ness is on your side. You may want to taste along as you go, sometimes even 4 tablespoon will do depending on the quality of your pesto. Let it all simmer on low heat for a bit.
Then add in 1-1.5 cup shredded cheese and stir stir stir for a good 10-12 minutes until the sauce thickens up. I usually put in one cup cheese first and then follow up with another half if I feel like it. The key is stirring the sauce and to let it simmer with low heat until it thickens up. For this sauce to taste well, it has to thicken up. Easy as pie.
Taste along and adjust with black pepper, salt and more cheese if necessary.
This is the type of sauce consistency we’re going after. THICK and RICH. Coz which woman doesn’t like that combination
Of course don’t forget to boil your favorite pasta and once that’s ready, pour it into the sauce and coat all the pasta together.
And serve, like so:
This is what usually happens when I make this:
Oh, are you cooking what I think it is?
Is my pasta ready yet?? Is my pasta ready yet??
I do think the best pasta for creamy sauces are penne so that’s what we usually have it with. Because the sauce is rich, it basically soaks up into the penne and you don’t really have to put lots of sauce onto the plate.
Yay, mom made my favorite pasta!
Yum! I usually boil more penne so that there’s leftovers for the hubby to take to work and for Sairah to have for lunch the next day, which she gladly eats em all. And because the spinach becomes pretty soft from all that boiling, the rich thick sauce masks its existence in the plate making any veg hating toddlers an instant fan.
Like so. She always asks for second helping!
And this is how the sauce looks from the food-processing method…topped it off with some ham for the hubby or if you prefer some meat into the pasta.
I read somewhere that true Italians believe that pastas are best eaten plain only with the sauce because the focus is with the freshness of the pasta and the star which is the sauce and Sairah and I cannot agree more.
Yup, we were probably Italians in our former birth.
Then again, the Italians will probably hate me for over-boiling the sauce and for not preparing fresh pasta. Heh.
All in due time I say.
For now *pats belly*