The staff of The Western Journal is working a reduced schedule over Easter weekend to allow our employees the opportunity for rest and worship with their families if they so choose. We are re-publishing this article as a service to our readers, who reacted strongly to it when it first ran.
Pasta is one of those comfort foods that even the most beginner of chefs can handle. It’s a blank slate in a variety of shapes that promises to soak up whatever you throw at it.
It’s a lot of kids’ favorite meal: spaghetti (aka “pasketti”) and meatballs. Tomato sauce, butter sauce, cream sauce… there are endless pastabilites.
Because so few people dislike pasta, it’s one of those “emergency meals” that’s easy to keep on hand. A bag of noodles and a jar of sauce (or homemade sauce kept in the freezer, if you’re more ambitious) is ready in a pinch when people unexpectedly show up.
One of the best things about pasta is that once you’re familiar with the ways of the dish, you don’t really even need a recipe.
You can whip up your own unique pasta sauce using whatever’s in your fridge. A little garlic and onion sauteed in butter and/or white wine makes an irresistible base that can hide a multitude of culinary sins.
With the plethora of combinations out there, there are still a few that have made it big. This particular recipe has a fan base of over 70,000 cooks of all experience levels, and it’s a perfect example of how something doesn’t have to be difficult to make to be absolutely delicious.
This dish, which is basically a fancier, grown-up macaroni and cheese, is great on its own or as a side. Its versatility is part of its charm, and you may already have most of the ingredients on hand.
Here’s what you’ll need, according to Delish:
12 oz. spaghetti
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 – 1 c. reserved pasta water
3/4 c. heavy cream
3/4 c. chicken broth
3/4 c. shredded Italian cheese blend
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp. Freshly Chopped Parsley
Obviously, the first step is to cook up that spaghetti in salted water, making sure to save some of the pasta water to use in the sauce.
Next, you’ll heat up the olive oil in a large skillet, wait until it’s nice and hot and then toss in the garlic for a minute or so.
Once that’s smelling good, the three liquids — pasta water, chicken broth and heavy cream — get added in. Mix that together, drop in those al dente noodles and make sure each individual noodle gets coated with that lovely, creamy sauce.
At this point, you’ll take the skillet off the heat and add in as much of that pasta water as you want. This is totally up to you and how creamy or thin you want the sauce, but make sure you’re using that pasta water and not plain water (Pasta water is starchy and helps the sauce bind to the noodles much better than plain water)!
The final step is pretty straightforward: add the rest of the items on the list, stir it up and serve!
Reviewers have made all sorts of substitution or addition suggestions, and a lot of them sound great. Want more protein? Throw in some (cooked, obviously) chicken!
Cream is delicious and, to be honest, is what makes this pasta as decadent as it is, but if you want to reduce the fat content, go ahead, it’s okay, you can sub milk in instead.
One commenter said she tried spaghetti squash instead of noodles, and hey — covering squash with a sauce like this could almost hide the fact it’s a vegetable you’re munching on.
So go ahead, give this super-easy recipe a try and let us know how it went!
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.