Thursday, January 15, 2009


I love certain pasta shapes. Like macaroni. You can put ANYTHING on macaroni and it will taste amazing. I understand that pasta is pasta... but why make different shapes if it was all the same? Pasta may be pasta no matter what the shape, but it tastes different, I swear!

I am insistent on this matter: macaroni tastes better than spaghetti.

Maybe that's because I always put cream or cheese based sauces on macaroni. I prefer cream and cheese based sauces to tomato or pesto. And the doctors wonder why I have high cholesterol. Ha!

Anyway, the Danish Boy came home for dinner 4 hours ahead of schedule and I hadn't come up with any clever dinner plans that involved loads of frozen vegetables. When this happens (the part where I don't have dinner plans, not neccessarily involving frozen vegetables) we have pasta and pesto. Specifically spaghetti and pesto. We have a small fist-full of regular spaghetti and a small fist-full of whole grain spaghetti (which I am not so fond of in spaghetti form, macaroni form... oh yes, bring on the whole grain!) - I thought to combine the two to make enough pasta for two. The DB did not like this idea. He wanted to make the macaroni and have macaroni and pesto for dinner. He was tired and hungry and therefore rather cranky. Not that he'll ever admit it, however.

Somehow, despite my feelings that you can stick anything on macaroni and it will taste good... I really didn't want pesto. We eat it so often I felt that this would be a tragic waste of good pasta. So I had about a minute to come up with an alternative sauce plan. I had a can of tomatoes (eh), half a cup of cream that was soon to go bad, some white wine, plenty of onions and garlic... a plan formed. One that did NOT involve the tomatoes.

I made a white wine-cream sauce. It would have been PHENOMENAL had I managed to defrost bacon in 30 seconds, but sometimes you just have to feed your spouse before they go postal.

I call this: Archaeogoddess's Amazingly Fast Emergency Pasta Sauce. It's based on some other white wine-cream sauces I know.

1 small onion, chopped finely
1 fat garlic clove, chopped finely
1 healthy tablespoon of olive oil
1/4 cup of white wine
1/4 cup of chicken broth (or in my case 1/4 cup of water and a small bit of bouillon cube - love the bouillon cube)
1/2 cup of cream

400 g of uncooked pasta - which is probably almost 4 cups but I'm not sure, I actually made 500g and then just saved some unsauced pasta for lunch today.

1) In a nice wide frying pan, saute onion and garlic in olive oil until onion begins to soften, do not burn the garlic. If you think you may accidently burn the garlic, start the onion and after a minute add the garlic.
2) Add wine and broth. Boil and reduce to about half the volume. Approximately. This does not take very long if you are using a frying pan. If you are using a saucepan because you think sauce=saucepan, I don't know what to tell you. I have never made a successful sauce from scratch in saucepan. Instant sauces, yes. Sauces that require reduction? Nope.
3) Turn down the heat and add the cream. It'll probably boil no matter what you do, but it didn't seem to do anything negative to the taste, so don't worry about it if it boils, because you want a hot sauce, but make sure you keep stirring because you don't want it to burn.
4) Season with salt and pepper.
5) Pour over drained pasta, mix to coat, serve. Yum.

The trick is to get the sauce to pasta ratio correct. Too much pasta is urk, not enough is liable to make you mad you didn't save some sauce.

Reheating non-sauced pasta is easy. Boil water. Throw cooked pasta into water. When the water returns to a boil, the pasta is reheated. And it isn't rubbery or gross at all! Genius.

Then, if you are a mad sauce queen, like me, you have left-over hollandaise sauce in the 'fridge and have been wondering if you should just eat it with a spoon. Never fear, pasta with hollandaise sauce is tasty tasty stuff. If you have some sort of flavored salt to crust over it, the better.

Did I mention that for a person who is 5'8" and weighs 130 lbs, I have crazy high cholesterol?

(Okay, if you are actually worried about my cholesterol, don't be. When I tested high a few years ago I was able to bring it down by cutting out ranch dressing and whole-fat milk and I stopped putting cheese on everything. Here in Denmark I have no access to ranch dressing, I am not drinking that much milk, and only low-fat, I eat a lot less cheese and I eat a lot more muesli and yogurt and whole-grain rye breads. I am pretty sure I am exaggerating the level of my cholesterol.)

I do miss deep fried cheese sticks with ranch dressing dip, though. I get to eat that fantastic artery clogging concoction about once, maybe twice a year when I go to the Blue Fig in Amman, Jordan (anyone out there in Amman or going to Amman, I tell you, the Blue Fig, order the appetizer plate. Oh, merciful heavens!). I won't be going to Jordan this year, it looks like. Sigh. No cheese sticks for me.

No, I am not going to learn how to make them. That would be like giving a heroin addict his very own poppy field.

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