Friday, 11 February 2011

Pasta Comfort

So I've just started up at work again properly, but for some reason it is taking me a lot longer to adjust to being employed in a serious job again.  Over the holidays I worked at my cinema back home, almost daily, almost always long shifts, yet I was fine.  My only conclusion is that my brain is no longer happy trying to pay attention to the likes of law and politics.  Fair enough really, I take my hat off to all you lawyers and politicians out there who have the stamina and genuine curiosity in that area.  I'm sure I will readjust soon, but in the meantime I'll drag my bike and myself up the hill to home sweet home for a comforting bowl of pasta.  At least cooking doesn't take unreasonable amounts of brain power!

Lurking around in my fridge was some leftover cheese sauce from my lasagne made the night before, a couple of mushrooms and scrap ends of cheese, which all went towards making this wonderfully comforting lunch which fed one sleepy person who perked right on up. Enjoy!

Earthy Mushroom Spaghetti
(Serves 1 greedy person)



Ingredients:
  • 75-100g Spaghetti
  • 1/2 Sm Onion
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 15g Butter
  • 100g Chestnut Mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 25g Manchego (Ewe) Cheese, finely grated (optional)
  • Few Chive strands to garnish
  • About 200ml Leftover Cheese Sauce (or see below to make from scratch)
Cheese Sauce:
  • 1 tsp flour
  • 10g butter
  • 200ml Milk
  • 1/4 tsp Dried Thyme
  • 25g Extra Mature Cheddar, grated
  • Salt and Pepper 
Method:
  1. Boil some salted water for the pasta, then make the cheese sauce - I like my sauce quite thin so I use less flour.  Add more flour if you want it thicker.  Melt 10g butter in a small pan, add the flour and beat around for a minute or so to cook the flour. Whisk in the milk gradually then add the herbs and season. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly until thickened, add the cheese and set aside.
  2. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook for about 9-11 minutes until al dente.
  3. Melt the rest of the butter in another pan and fry the garlic and onions gently, covered for 5 minutes until the onions look tender. 
  4. Turn up the heat and add the mushrooms then fry for another 5-10 minutes or until they start to brown.
  5. Season with pepper, mix in the cheese sauce and heat through.
  6. When the pasta is done, drain then mix in with the mushroom sauce until well combined. Stir in most of the Manchego cheese briefly.
  7. Serve sprinkled with the remaining Manchego cheese and garnish with chives.

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