Friday, February 24, 2012

Quick Cheesy Pasta

Today was far more tiring than your average Friday, and for no apparrent reason because I didn't really do much - I didn't have the energy to do much. By the time the working day was finally over I figured that there must be a reason that I was so tired, and come to think of it I have been eating an awful lot of junk food this week, and probably not enough real food. So, the solution to that? To go home and make something nutritious for dinner, so that tomorrow I will have the energy to go for a run and go shopping and attempt to crochet a pair of booties for a friend's baby-to-be, and basically make the most of it being the weekend! My nutrititous dinner featured wholegrain pasta, because you're supposed to have about 6 servings of wholegrains a day, which is an awful lot, and I doubt that I get that much most days. There was cheese, not something I usually eat much of but sometimes you feel like a change, and I had no meat and a full meal needs a bit of protein. Finally, my favourite, there was brocolli, which gives you lots of vitamin C and iron and all sorts of antioxidants in general.

So that will probably keep me going a bit better than peanut butter sandwiches and too much chocolate cake (there was just lots of cake at work this week, practically every day, and I couldn't help but eat it, really, it wasn't my fault, it was just sitting there, and it needed to be eaten ...). To top it all off, the pasta was really yummy so I'm going to share my recipe with the world (or at least, anybody that is interested).

Cheesy Pasta with Brocolli
(This recipe is just for one, but it would be easy enough to make a lot more!)

1 heaped tablespoon butter
1 large clove garlic
1/2 brown onion
1 heaped tablespoon flour
1 cup milk
1/4 cup grated cheese (I used cheddar and parmesan)
1 head brocolli
Wholegrain pasta

First of all, I was only cooking for me tonight, so I only needed about half of an onion. But it's really annoying to have a half onion left in the fridge, spreading it's oniony smell into all the other food. Luckily for me, one of my onions was actually two little onions growing in the same bulb, so I had a cute little half-sized onion to use:

However, that's not actually the point of this story. So, to get on with it. First you need to take a medium sized pot and put some water on to boil for the pasta. Make sure to put some salt in it. When it is boiled, add the pasta. Also, what I always do, is chop up the broccoli into florets and steam them over top of the pasta. However, you could cook it separately too, so long as you do cook it, because most people don't like raw broccoli. But anyway, enough of that, let's leave that all to cook, while you prepare the sauce.

First, crush the garlic and chop the onion up finely. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, then add the garlic and onion and let them cook for a couple of minutes, stirring all the while. Next, add the flour and stir quickly, so that you have a thick, sort of dry looking paste (called a roux, in case you are new to cooking). This flour paste needs to cook for a couple of minutes, but keep stirring it so that it doesn't burn. Than add a splash of the milk and stir briskly, until everything is smooth and thick. Add another splash of milk and stir quickly, and so on. When all the milk is added you should have a smooth, slightly thick sauce. If it is lumpy, you have added the milk too quickly and simply need to mix it more briskly to integrate it with the thicker parts - try using a whisk, that always works for me. Now turn the heat right down low.

Before you forget, check the pasta and make sure that it is not done already. If it is, drain it and leave it to one side. Now back to the sauce. Have a taste of it first, then season it with salt and pepper. Add the cheese and stir until it is melted and well combined. Then add the cooked broccoli and stir it until it is all coated.

Add the drained pasta, and again stir it until it is well coated in the sauce. Then serve it up, perhaps with a little more grated cheese over the top. And enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on being featured at Melt in your Mouth Monday! I have everything to make this great dish and we'll be enjoying it this week. I didn't realize before, but I am certainly an OCG gal too! =) Thanks for sharing.


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