Last night, I wanted to make a pasta side dish for some baked chicken. I was thinking of making a cold pasta salad but it's been about 12 degrees here lately and a cold dish just wasn't going to work, especially for my works-out-of-doors husband. He's cold when he gets home and needs something warm and comforting when he gets home.
I did a little scouting around and found a recipe from Kraft. I changed it a little to reflect the contents of my fridge (whole milk, homemade cream cheese). This was a very easy, very delicious probably not so healthy side dish. But, hey I used all real ingredients and I feel pretty good about that :)
Pasta Primavera Recip
adapted from Pasta Primavera Alfredo
- 1 pound penne pasta
- 1 (8 oz) block cream cheese
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
- 2 cups milk (I used 1 cup milk, 1 cup heavy cream)
- 2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder (I used a little more, taste and adjust for your tastes)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
- 1 1/2 cup cauliflower
- 1 cup sliced carrots
Bring water to boil and salt; add pasta and boil according to package directions. Add vegetables to the boiling water the last 5 minutes of cooking time. While that is cooking, heat the remaining ingredients in a medium saucepan until cream cheese is completely melted and sauce is smooth. Taste and adjust for more salt, pepper or garlic. Simmer while the pasta and vegetables cook. Drain pasta and veggies and stir in sauce.
If you'd like a thicker sauce, you can thicken it up by adding a small amount of cornstarch mixed with water. I actually did this and I used about a teaspoon of a cornstarch slurry and it was as thick as a jarred sauce. This was just to suit our preferences, it's up to you.
If you wanted to make this a complete meal, some cooked chicken or shrimp would be fantastic! The part I loved the most though, was that it took 9 minutes to make, start to finish. I used frozen veggies (I always have those on hand) and it took no time. This will be on our menu again and again! Our kids cleaned their plates and went back for seconds and thirds. I call that a winner in my book!