Indeed, this is not with Rupert. However, it is with my Hedgehog and comes with a recipe.
One of my favorite dishes just happens to be every day old pasta in cream sauce. Cream sauce is so versatile and I had some things laying around in the frig, just waiting to be made into something even more spectacular. So out came the roasted garlic, dried olive oil-ed tomatoes, heavy cream, some thyme and parsley, along with walnuts and bell pepper. And ta-da!
It all starts with having a good pasta that the sauce will cling to. Then comes your main ingredient of every good dish: SALT. Salting the pasta water, the sauce, adding cheese at the end of the sauce (preferably Parmesan for this recipe, but I didn’t have any at the moment). I found that salting the pasta water gave my pasta a good amount of seasoning, but my sauce lacked it. Even when you think you salted enough or too much, check and make sure before off pull it out of the pan.
Being a partial bread maker, I weighed my pasta out ,then weighed some more because this will be a lunch and dinner meal for myself. I think 4 ounces of pasta works better for this recipe than my 6-8 ounces. Note:You might see 4 ounces of penne pasta or a shorter pasta as about a cup of dried, uncooked pasta. So while my salty water was boiling the pasta, I prepped my other ingredients, dicing a whole bell pepper, mincing 4-5 cloves of roasted garlic and mincing 4 dried tomatoes.
Then came sauteeing everything; first came the bell pepper just until is got color on a few sides for 3-4 minutes at medium heat. After that came the tomatoes and some stirring of the pan a few seconds right before adding the garlic. Everything was smelling lovely by this time, so I added the dried thyme then a just splash of white wine (the good stuff you would want to drink). Let the wine reduce and evaporate out of the pan before adding your cream. Don’t forget your main ingredient after this step, salt here vigorously Let’s say 1 cup of cream per 4 ounces of pasta goes in.
Again, once you add the cream everything has to come to a simmer (light boil) for several moments so the liquid reduces and flavors mix, meld and compliment each other. Let this reduce down while your pasta cooks the last bit, or for 3-5 minutes, depending on how thick you like you sauce to be. I reduced mine just 3 minutes and drained my pasta which immediately went into the sauce. All the gluten still on the unwashed pasta thickened my sauce even more so.
I finished the whole dish with two handfuls of walnuts and some dried parsley. I should have salted my sauce one more time before adding the pasta, because mine came out lacking somewhat. Salt used correctly heightens the flavor of your dish, so it is a big help.
Overall, my dish was an experiment and it went well. Sauce was not too thin and has good flavor when you take bites of the tomato, garlic or bell pepper. But just pasta alone is slightly bland. I love the walnuts, so please try it with them. Don’t forget to salt three times, because I believe that was my biggest issue. Flavors also develop over time, so if you wanted to add extra cream and reduce it down, it would allow flavors to meld together better.
Feel free to use fresh herbs for an even better pasta, or finish with Parmesan and a tad less salt.