Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Cream Cheese Alfredo

My family are a bunch of picky eaters.  One thing they all heartily agree on, though, is creamy, garlicy pasta with lots of Parmesan.  And really, who wouldn't like that?
This dish is a variation on Alfredo.  The addition of cream cheese just makes it that much more delicious.  It's also quite versatile - you can add cooked chicken or shrimp or veggies.  The sauce comes together in a snap - it's done in the time it takes the pasta to cook.  This one's a must-have in anyone's recipe file.  Yummy!

Cream Cheese Alfredo

1 tbsp salt
1 tsp olive oil
1 lb pasta (such as small shells)

1/4 cup butter, cut into 1" pieces
8 oz pkg cream cheese, cut into 1" pieces
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 cup cream
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan, divided
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 - 3/4 cups milk

1.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add the salt and oil.  Add the pasta.  Cook until al dente according to manufacturer directions.

2.  Meanwhile: preheat the broiler to high.

3.  Combine the butter, cream cheese, and garlic in a medium saucepan set over medium heat.  Cook, stirring often, until the butter and cream cheese melt.

4.  Add the cream, 1 cup of the Parmesan, salt, pepper, and nutmeg to the pan.  Continue to cook, stirring often, until smooth.

5.  Stir in 1/2 cup of the milk.  If the sauce is a bit thick, you can add up to 1/4 cup more milk.

6.  When the pasta is done, drain it thoroughly and return it to the pot.  Pour the sauce over the pasta and stir to coat evenly.  Pour the mixture into a 9" X 13" baking dish (or individual ramekins).  Top with the remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan.

7.  Place the dish under the broiler until the top is spotty brown (about 5 minutes).  Serve!

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