As I’m sure it happens in your house, all the groceries have disappeared. I went to make dinner and found that someone had come into our home in the middle of the night and raided our refrigerator. Stuffed husband reminded me that we have a gnome living in our home who was likely the culprit in this case. That gnome still has my television remote and the salt shaker, both of which went missing ages ago. He probably has my digital camera too. Thief.
What else is there to do in a pinch but to be creative. Therefore, I made rotini pasta with frozen broccoli and topped it with a white cream sauce and a pinch of spicy chipotle pepper for giggles. It went over well.
1 cup of frozen or blanched broccoli
1 cup of milk
3 cups of rotini pasta
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1 chipotle pepper (I buy these canned)
Start by boiling water for your pasta. You will want to make sure to cook the pasta on the side of al dente as it will continue to cook when you toss it with the sauce and broccoli. Cook it too long and you’ll end up with a mashed potato consistency. hmmm. Not sure that would be a bad thing.
Thaw the broccoli in salted boiling water and drain. Set it aside for later use. While the pasta boils and broccoli thaws, chop up one chipotle pepper. I warn you, if you are not one for heat, go very easy on these. They are potent lil suckers.
Once your pasta has finished cooking, reserve one cup of pasta water for later. Drain the rest. Set the pasta to the side. In a pot, on medium heat, drop in the butter and allow it to melt. Once melted add the flour. **You will think you have done something horribly wrong when you mix these two together.** The texture, lumpy and kind of dry, will seem strange but trust me, you’re going to be just fine.
Once you have mixed the flour and butter together, pour in the milk and stir continually. In a few seconds the milk will begin to thicken. Add salt and pepper. Then drop in your chipotle. More if you want to sweat, less if you’re a wimp. Ahem, I mean if you’re not into that sort of thing.
Pour the pasta and brocolli into the creamy mixture and stir. If you find it too thick, which I certainly did, pour in some of your reserved pasta water a little at a time until you reach the desired consistency, stirring all the time. Adding cheese now would be great too. BUT the gnome took that too.
Now all that’s left to do is serve it up! This dish was quick, easy, and painless. It would have benefited greatly with a little bit of garlic or maybe bacon. Or both. So in the end I only ate two bowls worth instead of three. I’m watching my intake these days.
This would go really well as a side to grilled chicken or steak. I served it up with baked tilapia. Went down pretty smooth. Happy Eating.
Now if I could just get my dishes to wash themselves…now I know why my mother had children.
Peace, LOVE, and Lard-
the hungry wife