As we work on watching our budget and I find myself grocery shopping less often, I’m always on the lookout for recipes I can make out of what’s in the freezer or pantry. These “end of the week” meals give us something delicious and hearty to eat after we’ve used up the fresh meats and temperamental fresh veggies that need to be eaten fairly soon after I’ve bought them.
Pasta dishes are one that pop to the list fairly often. All three kids and Mr W absolutely love pasta and it’s generally a pretty cheap way to feed a lot of people. Plus the recipes are usually versatile…you can toss some diced chicken breast or sauteed veggies in and you’ve got yourself an even more filling meal.
Incidentally, Katie “the Cheese Pusher” says she has seven types of cheese in her fridge at all points in time. This got me curious (see the aformentioned number of fresh fruits and veggies bit above) and I went to my fridge to count.
Yeah baby, that’s right…FIFTEEN types of cheese.
(Cream cheese, ricotta cheese, shredded mozzarella, shredded cheddar, crumbled goat, crumbled feta, crumbled gorgonzola, crumbled bleu cheese, hard asiago, grated romano, grated pecorino, grated parmesean, sliced colby jack, string cheese and sharp new york cheddar)
So apparently, we’re cheesy.
I liked the look of the recipe, simple, fast, and easily made with things I normally have in my fridge. I only made one substitution (fat free half and half instead of heavy cream) and that was simply to reduce the calories a bit.
Simple Cheesy Garlic Pasta
- 2 T extra virgin olive oil
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 T butter
- 1/2 tp salt
- 1 t pepper
- 6 c chicken stock
- 1 lb pasta (I used angel hair)
- 2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1.5 cups fat free half n half
- 1/4 c chopped fresh parsley
Bring the oil to medium high heat in a sauce pan. Add garlic and saute until fragrant. Mix in the butter and let it melt, then add the salt, pepper and chicken broth. Raise the heat to high and let it come to a boil. Add the pasta to the pot and let cook according to package directions. Do NOT drain pasta. Reduce heat to medium low and stir in cheese until melted. Remove from heat, add half n half and stir to mix. Top with parsley.
We were a bit worried that this was too “wet.” It thickens up a bit once it comes off the heat so avoid the temptation to add in extra cheese. (Which I did…and while it was tasty…it also got really thick, really fast. The next time, I’ll stick with the recipe.)