Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Garlic Tomato-Cream Spaghetti

I finally had a chance this weekend to tinker in the kitchen.  September is an INSANE month for me as a teacher, so with 50+ hours a week at school, cooking has been "on the back burner" so to speak.  There's a whole new challenge to getting home at quarter to five each night with two hungry, cranky kids.  Not a lot of time for experimentation or fussy recipes.

I had the bright idea to do some cooking ahead of time this weekend, and successfully created 2 newly tweaked classics.

Garlic Tomato-Cream Spaghetti

Vampires beware...

I started by putting 3 garlic cloves in the magic bullet and pureeing it into a paste.

Then, I began my traditional cream sauce- equal parts Earth Balance and Wondra Flour.  I added the pureed garlic into the flour/butter paste.  I then added roughly a cup of organic half and half and stirred until thick.

In the magic bullet, I added a variety of tomatoes.  I had so many tomatoes from my own plant as well as from the bucket these past two weeks.  I tossed all kinds-from grape, to roma, to cherry- into the magic bullet and pureed into liquid.  I don't know how many tomatoes I used, but I filled the large cup on the magic bullet twice.  I also added a few fresh basil leaves in with the tomatoes.

I stirred the liquified tomatoes into the thick cream sauce, brought it to a boil, and turned off the burner.

Here is the magic part------I did this on Saturday night.  I tasted it that night and it was so-so.  I left it to "brew" in the cast iron pan in the fridge until Tuesday at dinner time.  I simply warmed it up and served it over whole-wheat thin spaghetti noodles.  48 hours of fridge time changed it from so-so to so delicious!

In addition, I broiled up some chicken breasts with garlic salt and Penzey's Bicentennial Rub.  I scored the chicken at the co-op today.  It was fresh from a local farm and packaged just yesterday.  Fresh and delicious.  Once you go organic chicken, you can't go back.  It's a whole new level of chicken- juicy, tender, and so flavorful.  Add a side of steamed spinach and it was a perfect meal in about 25 minutes!

Bryce even ate the spaghetti, and he usually claims to like his pasta plain.  He complained for a minute, then cleaned his plate.  He gets a hefty serving of tomatoes, and I avoid another night of begging for "garlic noodles."  Win.

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