What is quick, filling, cheap and delicious?
And how far we have come! Pasta for most of my life meant opening a box
of macaroni or spaghetti. We didn’t call it “pasta” then.
Soon, however, we were calling these flour and water concoctions
“pasta.” It became glamorous, trendy and very “in.” I just had to
have a pasta machine and was given one for some occasion. I think I used it
twice. I quickly decided I would never get the hang of it, didn’t think it
was fun to make pasta, the pasta was terrible, the mess was incredible and,
besides, you could, about that time, buy fresh pasta.
The machine was awarded to my daughter — an early inheritance.
One of the beauties of buying the packaged fresh pasta is that it cooks
in just three or four minutes, even less for some like angel hair. This
makes for a very jiffy meal.
With some leftover baked chicken, we produced Chicken and Broccoli
Alfredo. Dinner went on the table in minutes. The combination brought
compliments on the first go round and the second. The recipe makes plenty
for four. Actually, I used the increasingly available “broccolini” that
I like better than broccoli. It has a milder taste. Broccolini is a cross
between broccoli and Japanese kale. It is tender and there is no waste, eat
stems and heads.
Nearly anything combines nicely with pasta so it is fun to experiment. I
was intrigued by a seafood-and-pasta recipe that used sour cream as the
sauce. The recipe warned that the sour cream may become thin in heating and
advised a thickener just in case. For Creamy Shrimp and Pasta, I made a roux
first and then, at the last minute, added the sour cream just to heat
Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo
Directions: Melt butter in skillet, add shallots and cook
until soft. Add flour and cook several minutes until lightly brown. Add
cream or milk and stir until thickened. Then add mushrooms and shrimp. Cook
just until shrimp turn pink. Do not overcook. Meanwhile, have water boiling
to cook pasta, either fresh or dried. While pasta is cooking, stir sour
cream into shrimp-and-mushroom mixture.
Warm sauce through, do not allow to boil. Drain pasta and pour into
serving dish. Top with shrimp sour cream sauce. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on
sauce and garnish with fresh chopped parsley, basil or cilantro. Serves 4.