Parmesean, Garlic, and Cream, oh my!
I made this quick 30 minute orecchiette pasta with roasted garlic cream sauce and fresh spring peas last weekend, when I was fighting a cold, and wanted a bit of comfort in the form of carbs. And also garlic. I figured a bit of cold-fighting garlic couldn’t hurt, ya know?
I hate feeling sick, and right now I am nursing, so there’s very little I can take to alleviate the cold symptoms. Which makes for a cranky momma. But cooking something special always relieves my stress, and my Mom was around to do some baby entertaining, so into the kitchen I went.
I sort of cobbled together some things we had around the house anyhow – a package of orecchiette I had planned for a butternut squash dish, some frozen spring green peas I had on hand, some fresh parsley that I had gotten on sale the day before. The result was actually pretty phenomenal though, and I plan to try this again with roasted broccoli. Because if we add green things to our creamy sauces it totally negates the creamy sauce right? RIGHT?
Yeah, maybe not, but every once in a while, you just need to have a bit of comfort food. And this 30 minute orecchiette is both creamy and fresh, with the satisfyingly sweet crunch of the peas. I would serve this at a dinner party in fact, with some crusty bread, and a green salad. But it was also quick and easy enough that I could serve this on a weeknight. Bonus points for that!
And in our house, we don’t really do a lot of pasta. Though maybe that will change – pasta is easy to add veggies to, and can be prepared quickly. And quick veggie packed dishes like this 30 minute orecchiette are appealing to this working mama.
What are your weeknight go-to dishes? What do you crave when you’re sick?
Quick 30 Minute Orecchiette with Roasted Garlic Cream Sauce and Spring Peas
This creamy pasta dish is ready in minutes but tastes like it takes hours to prepare. Serve it with a fresh green salad and crusty bread. It's a crowd pleaser!
- 1 16 oz Package Orecchiette You could also use shells or elbow macaroni. The key is to use a pasta with a lot of surface when you have a cream sauce so that it can coat the pasta well.
- 1 Head Fresh Garlic
- 1 8 oz Package Fresh or Frozen Peas
- 2 Tablespoons Flour
- 12 ounces heavy cream, half and half, or milk You can adjust the fat content without it really affecting the creaminess of the pasta much, in my opinion. I typically opt for the middle of the road here, and for this dish I used half and half.
- 2 Tablespoons butter or olive oil
- sea salt Add salt to taste.
Take a small piece of tin foil and place garlic head unpeeled in center of foil. Drizzle with olive oil, and fold the foil up to cover it. Place in oven or toaster oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until garlic is very soft and mushy. This step can even be done beforehand.
Meanwhile set a large pot of water to boil on the stove and prepare pasta according to package directions. Once you've drained the pasta, set it aside.
In a measuring cup, mix two tablespoons flour with 1/2 cup of your milk, half and half, or cream.
Peel roasted garlic. Don't worry if its mushy and falling apart. That's the consistency you want!
Melt butter or warm olive oil in a medium saucepan.
Add the remainder of your cream to the saucepan and keep stirring gently until it's just beginning to bubble. Slowly stir in roasted garlic.
Add your cream and flour mixture (which should have a paste like consistency) to the saucepan slowly. Turn heat down to medium low/just before a simmer, and let sauce slowly thicken.
Add pasta and peas and toss to coat.
Sprinkle with salt to taste. I used approximately 1/2 teaspoon of French grey sea salt.
This dish could also be prepared with broccoli instead of peas. You can use more or less garlic to taste. Roasted garlic can be made in advance, up to a day in advance, but I find that after it's been refrigerated it loses some of its flavor, so you may want top use a bit extra in that case.
Save yourself time and stress in the kitchen with these amazing secret weapons.