Monday, August 30, 2010

pasta with asiago cream sauce and spinach

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i found this recipe online over at good things catered and decided to make it the very next day. i absolutely love asiago cheese, especially on an asiago cheese bagel. i was really looking forward to this dish, but somehow the end result didn't turn out as expected. the sauce was a little too thick. we added chicken stock to thin it out, but that was only a temporary fix because it kept getting thick again. i think next time i would add equal amounts of chicken stock and milk to even things out, instead of using just milk - like the recipe calls for. i'm posting the original recipe from good things catered. feel free to make your own adjustments. don't get me wrong - this was still good and hit the spot - it was just a little too rich for me.

2 pounds pasta of choice
4 tablespoons sweet cream butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1.5 cups milk, plus an additional 1/2 cup if needed
2 cups shredded asiago cheese
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/8 teaspoon paprika
2 cups fresh baby spinach
red pepper flakes, to taste

in a large stock pot with salted water, bring water to boil and cook pasta according to package directions. meanwhile in a large pan, add butter over medium heat. once fully melted, add flour and stir with large wooden spoon to combine well. cook, stirring well, for two minutes and and milk, stirring well, 1/2 cup at a time to turn roux into a smooth bechamel. turn heat to low and add shredded cheese, stirring well to combine thoroughly. add salt, pepper, paprika and stir well to combine. add more salt to taste if needed (depending on the saltiness of the cheese). once pasta is done, quickly strain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water. add pasta to cheese sauce pan, along with spinach and stir well to combine. add pasta water if needed to achieve nicely coated pasta. transfer to bowl and serve. top with red pepper flakes.

we served this with crusty garlic bread and mixed greens with meagan's grandma's secret salad dressing. 

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