When I saw this recipe on Alli's website, I knew I had to try it because she said it was quick and easy to throw together when you get home from work. I also took her advice and threw together a yummy salad and garlic toast to go with it.
Our family already eats a fair amount of pasta. We probably make pasta two times each week. Sometimes it's spaghetti, sometimes it's lasagna, sometime's it's fettuccini alfredo or penne with sauteed veggies, and sometimes, it's good old Kraft Mac and Cheese. Yep, you heard it here. We eat Kraft Mac and Cheese... actually about once a week. That though is one of the only times that our pasta isn't whole grain and that it's made with some mysterious packaged powder mix that we pretend is cheese (but hey, it DOES contain milk, so it must be a little big good for us, right? right?).
The ingredient list was easy peasy and it was all stuff that I already had on hand!
SUN DRIED TOMATO PENNE PASTA
2 cups (8 oz.) dry penne pasta (I made a whole box of whole grain pasta, and then threw the leftover pasta in some roasted red pepper sauce for another meal that same week)
8 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped (about 1/3 cup)
1 can (12 fl. oz.) NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Lowfat 2% Milk
2 cups (8-oz. pkg.) shredded Italian-style four-cheese blend
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
PREPARE pasta according to package directions, adding sun-dried tomatoes to boiling pasta water for last two minutes of cooking time; drain.
MEANWHILE, COMBINE evaporated milk, cheese, basil, garlic powder and pepper in medium saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until cheese is melted. Remove from heat.
ADD pasta and sun-dried tomatoes to cheese sauce; stir until combined.
It was very good and very quick and easy. I didn't measure and I think it needed more garlic powder, but I probably hadn't added what the recipe called for. I might prefer a clove of garlic crushed over the garlic powder, but I think the idea here is that it's basically all pantry items and not everyone has garlic in stock (but we always do!) I'm also not sure if I added as many sun-dried tomatoes as it called for, but I would add more next time - they're my favorite part!
For a really fast meal, this was awesome! I think that when I have more time to cook I prefer home-made cream sauce over the evaporated milk sauce in this recipe, but will definitely make this again. The boys in the house loved it and ate the leftovers for days. The consistency of the sauce changed once it was reheated as white sauce always does, so it was best that first night. It was an easy and yummy recipe that will most likely become a staple at our house!
Thanks Allison, for sharing the great idea!