Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Simple, Easy, Pasta

Hello, everyone!  Happy Tuesday!  My husband was traveling yesterday, for work, and my daughter was home sick, so after being with her all day, and caring for her, I needed something fast and simple for supper.  I remembered a quick pasta dish that I haven't made in forever, but comes together in the time it takes me to unload the dishwasher and reload it, with just a few ingredients.  Even better?  It's delicious, and you can easily add things in, if you have a few extra minutes.  Shrimp in this would be amazing, so would some steak, or chicken!  I love recipes that you can easily customize to your taste!

Pasta really is one of those dishes that you can do just about anything to, and it would still be incredible.  I made this dish with chicken stock, but you can easily use beef stock!  Want it spicy?  Add in some red chili flakes, or even some minced peppers!  This pasta cooks in its own sauce, making it just that much more easy.  Yep.  It's a one pot wonder.  Let's get started!
Here's your grocery list for this one:
4 oz. uncooked angel hair pasta
2 C chicken stock (homemade or store bought)
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp each dried oregano, and dried basil
2 Tbs heavy cream
1 tsp Kosher salt (or, salt to taste)
3 Tbs Parmesan cheese

That's it!  Again, feel free to shake this up any way you would like - that's one of the joys of cooking in your own kitchen, isn't it?  So, in a medium sized sauce pan, grate in two cloves of garlic (sometimes, if I'm feeling super lazy, I'll just use garlic powder), and saute with the olive oil over medium heat for about 30 seconds.
 
Add in the Kosher salt, chicken stock, and dried herbs of choice; bring this up to a boil.  I know, this doesn't look like enough liquid to cook your pasta in.  We always hear that we need a big pot full of boiling water to cook any pasta at all.  You don't want that in this dish.  You want all of the starches that the pasta releases as it cooks; this helps to thicken your sauce.  Don't worry, it won't boil over.  I've made this a million times, and it has never boiled over. 
 



So, when your stock has come up to a boil, add in the pasta, and stir until all of the pasta has sunk into the stock.  I like to use tongs to stir my pasta with, but, of course, use whatever you have on hand.  I find that tongs just help me grab the pasta when I'm finished...I always reach for them when I'm cooking any kind of pasta. 
 
No, turn the heat down to medium-low, and let this cook for 15-20 minutes.  I know.  It's angel hair pasta, that cooks in no time!  15-20 minutes?!  That's crazy talk!  Trust me. This will not turn into a mushy, goopy mess.  There is magic going on in there. 

 After 12 minutes, this is what your pasta should look like.  At this point, you need to decide how much sauce you want.  I wanted mine to be a bit dryer, so I let my liquid reduce down for another couple of minutes, until it looked like almost all of the liquid had cooked off. 
 



Add in your Parmesan cheese, and mix this into the hot pasta - remember, add it in small batches, or else you will end up with clumps of cheese; not a cheese that has fully melted into the sauce!   Pour in your cream, and mix well.  Since the pasta is white, and the sauce is mostly white, you won't be able to tell that the pasta is thoroughly coated, but this sauce will shine in every single bite.  This is a real crowd pleaser, and, as you can see, could not be easier to make!  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!