Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Easy Rosemary Pasta - In 15 Minutes

Date Night 
We've been keeping a close eye on the budget lately. (Who hasn't, right?)
So, I've been trying to think of inexpensive ways of bringing a little fun to a night at home. 

Yesterday I tried a Date Night surprise. Complete disaster.
We had Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy on Red Box.
(We had both heard good things about it.)

I wanted to get creative and plan the menu around the movie, but it was set in England. Let's face it - it's not a country known for tasty food. (Sorry, Brits.) So, I went long. We have Guinness in the fridge, so I planned on picking up two orders of Shepherd's Pie from a local restaurant where it's REALLY good.

Strike 1
Restaurant is closed on Mondays. Okay, so hubby picks up burrito's from our fav Mexican place, instead.

Strike 2
I go to pour us each a Guinness and realize that my tummy's a bit...queasy. He skips the beer, too.

Strike 3
We dive into the movie, all excited. Twenty minutes into it we are baffled. Half the time we can't hear the actors - especially through accents. And, when there are subtitles for Russian they flash away so quickly we can't even read them. Hubby...fell asleep.(We still haven't finished the movie.)

Tonight, we're trying something a bit...
More in my control. 

Under the Tuscan Sun (Love the movie - and the book!) 

Easy Rosemary Pasta with roasted garlic cheese bread (Both our favs.)

Limoncello (It's in the movie... and it's chilling in the freezer.) .

Easy Rosemary Pasta 
1 lb Mezzo Rigatoni (or any other fun pasta) 

Bechamel Sauce, consisting of:
4 T. butter 
4 T. flour 
1 c. half and half 
2 c. milk 
4 t. crushed rosemary, dried 
1/2 t. white pepper 
salt to taste 

I usually get all the ingredients out first.
Then I put a pot of water on to boil and start the sauce at the same time.
The entire recipe takes only 15 minutes!

In a saucier or large sauce pan, melt the butter. Sprinkle on the flour. Whisk together and cook about 2 minutes until the paste smells a bit nutty and is a light brown. Pour in the half and half. Whisk. Pour in a cup of the milk. Add the rosemary, pepper and some salt to taste.
(If you aren't a big fan of rosemary, cut the amount in half. 
But, then this recipe might not be for you!) 

Continue whisking until the sauce thickens. Add the rest of the milk as necessary. (Make it a bit watery as it will continue to thicken.) Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box. Before draining, reserve a cup or 2 of the pasta water. Drain. Combine the pasta and sauce. If the sauce gets too thick, stir in some of the pasta water. Serve. Makes about 6 side dishes. About 3 entrees.

 I don't really measure my ingredients for the bechamel sauce. It's pretty much the same technique as our Sausage Gravy Recipe. Sometimes I use mostly milk. If I have some heavy whipping cream leftover in the fridge, I'll toss some of that in. I use whatever dairy is on hand. And, if I had a sprig of fresh rosemary, I would toss that in, too.

Since we're going with an Italian theme, I almost made my Chicken Pesto Cavatappi - a Taste-Alike from Corner Bakery. But, we've had that a lot recently.

Oh, I should mention that this Rosemary Pasta is also great with some chicken tossed in.

Well, the garlic is roasting in the oven, 
the house smells heavenly, 
and the hubby is on his way home. 

Do you have at home date nights?

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