Monday, January 3, 2011

Liberate the Guilt Creamy Pasta

For years I have avoided cream sauces due to the high cholesterol and fat ladened nutritional pit falls BUT with that avoidance came deprivation and those that know me know that I do not deprive myself.....I am an everything in moderation kinda girl! Cream sauces with their luscious smells and shimmer are something that I have learned are to me what kryptonite is to Superman, as I take each bite I can literally see it going from my mouth to my thighs in a most unsightly way not to mention the number it does to my intestinal tract (I know TMI but sorry I have to be honest!) So after many a tester recipe using milk instead of cream, light sour cream, light cream cheese, creamy tofu I have found the MASTER low fat, high protein, heavenly and liberating creamy ingredient, drum roll please.....and the star is GOAT CHEESE!!! Ok for those of you that have closed your mind already and say I do not like goat cheese, I beg of you to try this recipe, I promise you will not taste the goat cheese with the brilliance in the combination of other flavors in this dish (hey if you can’t say you are brilliant who can right)? My kids LOVE this and my man food, buffalo wing, taco eating husband requests this meal with almost as frequently as chicken parmesan (which is his fav). Here we go with ease and elegance......

Serves 5-6 as a main course

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 shallots, chopped

1 bunch broccoli rabe (rough ends removed and cut into bite-size pieces)

1 small jar sun dried tomatoes in olive oil, chopped and 1 Tbsp oil reserved

3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup white wine (I like to cook with chardonnay)

1 pound rotini pasta, whole wheat or semolina (or your favorite shape**spaghetti does not work well)

1 4 oz log of plain soft goat cheese

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1-2 tsp crushed red pepper (depending if how much spice you like)

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

First bring 3 cups of chicken broth and about 2 cups water to boil in a medium sized stock pot. Add chopped broccoli rabe and return to a boil, cook about 4 minutes or until desired tenderness (I like my veggies al dente). Drain broccoli rabe and immediately add to a bowl with ice water (“shocks” the vegetable to stop the cooking process and keep the intense green color) set aside.

Bring another stock pot full of water to boil on the stove (same one as used for broccoli rabe if you want to save your dishwasher a pot to clean!) While this comes to a boil start the sauce. In a saucepan heat the olive oil with 1 Tbsp of sundried tomato oil, add the shallots a cook until softened about 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook another minute until fragrant, add chopped tomatoes, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper cook another minute to blend. Add 1/2 cup white wine and 1 cup chicken broth and cook down until sauce is reduced by about half. Check your pasta water if boiling, add some salt to water and cook pasta per box directions. Break up goat cheese log into small pieces and add to sauce...let it melt into shimmering beauty. Drain broccoli rabe and add into sauce (at this point the sauce may become thick)...once pasta is done cooking, add it to the sauce RESERVING PASTA WATER add some pasta water to sauce a ladle full at a time until the sauce coats the pasta ****I have in many a frazzled mommy moment strained my pasta and forgot to reserve the water NO WORRIES if this happens just use some extra wine of chicken broth****Add the grated Parmesan cheese to this luscious mixture and serve!!

***I sometimes like to jazz this up by adding some grilled shrimp, scallops or chicken on looks very fancy, a great Mother-in-law or the boss over for dinner dish!!

Creamy pasta for all and none for your thighs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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