Thursday, November 18, 2010

Meatless... Thursday?

Ok, so maybe it doesn't quite roll off the tongue like 'Meatless Monday' does.  But it was good, anyway.  And these days there seems to be an awful lot going on, and quick and easy is just where it's at (ack - my college English prof would have a fit if he saw that sentence).

This is not a vampire friendly meal.  We do love our garlic.  But roasting it takes that strong edge off of it and makes it mellow and sweet.  Certainly you could go for a more low-cal version as well.  Just add a bit of flour right before adding in the liquid and stir it around a bit.  Then you can substitute a lower-fat milk (and leave out the butter).  But that's just not how I roll.  :-)))

Pasta with Roasted Garlic Cream Sauce

1 large head of garlic
1/2 lb. angel hair pasta, cooked according to package directions
Sea or Kosher salt
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbs. butter
1 shallot, finely diced
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 - 3/4 pint of half and half
6 large basil leaves, cut into a chiffonade
1/4 - 1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano

Heat oven to 400°.  Slice garlic bulb in half and place on a piece of aluminum foil.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with a bit of sea salt.  Place in oven and cook for 25 - 30 minutes.

Place a large pot of water over high heat and add a generous amount of salt (couldn't really tell you how much I use but your water should taste 'like the sea' {minus the fish, hopefully}).  Try a couple of tablespoons at least.  When the water starts to boil, add your pasta and cook according to directions.  I try to time my pasta being done with my sauce being done so I can just add it directly to the pan using a pasta fork and bring a little of the pasta water along with it.  Helps to thicken the sauce.


Add the olive oil and butter to a large sauté pan and allow butter to melt over medium-high heat.  Add shallot and cook until it softens.  Squeeze the garlic from the halves into the pan and stir to break up.  Add the white wine to deglaze the pan.  When the wine reduces by about half, add the half and half (I start with the lesser amount and add more later if I need to loosen the sauce up a bit), basil and Parmesan to the pan.  Season with pepper.  Allow to come to a simmer and then add your pasta to the pan, stirring to incorporate the sauce.  Taste for salt and add more if needed (since the pasta water is salted, you probably won't need to add more).  Serve immediately.

Serving note:  Before I start the sauce, I like to add a little bit of butter to the pan and then toss in some bread crumbs and allow to toast a bit.  Remove from pan and use to top your pasta along with some fresh Italian parsley.

1 comment:

  1. Yum! I think we'll make this for Meatless Saturday night dinner....