Regular readers may be aware that I'm not a huge pasta fan, especially if it comes floating in a sea of tomato sauce. Darn those Spanish conquistadors. Did they have to bring the tomato back to Europe, after invading the Aztec empire? Ah well, at least they brought back chocolate, for all the chocoholic fiends (who? Me?).
So you're probably thinking, what's going on here? Well, this is pasta enveloped in a cheesy sauce, made with Mersey Valley spreadable cheese. I decided to make (nearly) the ultimate sacrifice, and give this recipe a go for the blog. Mr P. was very happy, as he looooves pasta.
This recipe is on the packet, and normally I shy away from such things, but this one caught my eye, so here we are. I added bacon to it for a meaty zing, but make it without and you have an easy vego dinner. This soft cheese is described as 'Vintage Club Cheddar, sharp and creamy', so you get the idea if you're hunting up a similar cheese. Apparently a Club Cheddar is a mix of cheeses, blended till it becomes soft in texture.
|creamy, cheesy, herby - delish!|
300-350g./10.5-12.3oz pasta (fusilli or penne)
2 tbs olive oil
1 brown onion, chopped
3 rashers (about 100g./10.5oz) rindless bacon, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
250g./8oz of mushrooms, sliced
375 mL (1½ cups) of cream - thickened or pure
1/2 bunch basil leaves, chopped or torn
150g./5oz of Mersey Valley Spreadable cheese
a hefty dash of dried oregano, and of lightly dried chives (optional)
sea salt and black pepper, to taste
40g./1.4oz of parmesan cheese, grated
Fill a large saucepan with cold water, bring to the boil (see next step now), tip in your pasta of choice and cook it for the requisite number of minutes as per the packet - or to your favoured degree of al dente
While the water decides to boil, get on with the sauce - i.e. start chopping!
Grab a large saucepan or frypan, pour in the oil, let it heat up, then tip in the onion, bacon, garlic and mushrooms
Stir till everything becomes tender, golden and smells delicious
Now pour in the cream, and let it simmer till the sauce starts to thicken
Grab a wooden spoon and stir in the Mersey Valley cheese
Turn down the heat, and season with the salt and pepper
Throw on the basil leaves, and the dried herbs, toss the drained pasta and sauce together, and sprinkle with the parmesan cheese
Serve with a chopped tomato and red onion salad - tomato, red onion, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper
Their recipe says to cook up the pasta after the sauce is done, but that seems odd to me, as your sauce will be sitting around getting cold and gluggy for up to 20 minutes! I reckon start the pasta when you start chopping, so they're ready at the same time
They say use 350 grams of pasta - this is a lot! You can easily use less, unless you really love lots (and lots) of pasta with your sauce
|gather your ingredients|
|sauté the veg.|
|add the cream and basil|
|get Mr P. to stir in the pasta|
|grate the parmesan|
This is a very rich dish, so you may not need a lot of it. The salad helps cut the kilojoules (if only!). I've been giving meals to our elderly neighbour during Covid, so we took a bowl over to her. I hope she doesn't think I'm trying to do her in - death by cholesterol:-)