I have recently joined a group called Improv Cooking Challenge (see my first post here), where we are assigned 2 ingredients to incorporate into a dish each month. This month, the challenge was garlic and rosemary - perfection!
I chose to make a simple pasta with shredded rotisserie chicken, garlic, and rosemary; tossed together with starchy pasta water and Parmesan to make a light sauce. Five ingredients, 30 minutes, easy and delicious. You're welcome, world!
Here's a quick little semi-homemade cold weather meal, perfect for weeknights. I took some store-bought fresh spinach fettuccine and thick sliced roasted turkey from the deli counter, and tossed them with a homemade pumpkin goat cheese alfredo. It's interesting enough to not be boring, but it's easy enough to not cause a headache.
The homemade part is the decadent sauce, which involves butter, garlic, cream, pumpkin, goat cheese, sage, and pumpkin pie spice. I wanted to do something a little different, which is why I went with turkey, but chicken would work just as well. And I like how the spinach pasta brought a little color to the table.
Pumpkin Goat Cheese Alfredo
adapted from Closet Kitchen
8 oz pasta of choice (I used fresh spinach fettuccine from the refrigerated section), cooked
8 oz cooked turkey or chicken, diced or shredded
1 tbsp butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
4 oz goat cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan, grated
1 tbsp sage, sliced thinly (or dried)
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
salt and pepper to taste
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute. Add the cream, pumpkin puree, goat cheese, Parmesan, sage, and pumpkin pie spice and simmer until the cheese has melted.
Add in the poultry and allow to warm through. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.
Toss with pasta and serve immediately.
I saw this on Pinterest and thought it looked like a great idea! Put a bunch of ingredients in a pot, boil it for 10 minutes, and the cooking water becomes the sauce - cool!
Unfortunately, the first time I made this I followed another blogger's recommendation and used vegetable stock instead of water for extra flavor. Big mistake. The stock I used was darkly colored and had a very strong flavor. The end result ended up tasting like pasta with gravy - gross. The soupy flavor totally overwhelmed the tomato and basil, and it was really just not good.
But it seemed like such a good idea that I wanted to give it another try. Water, not stock, this time; and no red pepper flakes (too spicy for me).
This time it worked great! The starchy pasta water cooks down and clings to the pasta like a sauce, and the tomato basil flavor is nice. I still prefer a traditional Pomodoro, but this is great if you don't have a lot of time and only want to use one pot. Some things to keep in mind - stir frequently or it will stick to the bottom; make sure to cut the onion really super thin because it doesn't cook for very long; fresh roma tomatoes will give you the best flavor; and don't break your pasta to make it fit into the pot, after the water starts to boil the ends will become soft enough for you to fold the pasta down.