From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...While my search for new recipes sometimes takes me pretty far afield, I found the recipe I'm featuring tonight on my own end table in the August issue of Cooking Light magazine. Regular readers of One Perfect Bite know that the Silver Fox is a committed carnivore. That makes it difficult to test meatless recipes before passing them onto you. Fortunately, difficult does not mean impossible. The recipe I'm featuring tonight has lots going for it. It is meatless, delicious and figure friendly and I'm more than happy to recommend it to you. Like many cooks who feed carnivores, I usually add a chop or steak to his plate and treat the meatless main course as a side dish so it can be tested. It works well for us. Every once in awhile, I find a recipe that he likes well enough to eat without meat. This is one of them. I initially chose the recipe because it can be made quickly and the pasta makes a perfect meal for a fall weeknight dinner. Like all Cooking Light dishes, the recipe is solid. I do have a caution to share with those of you who plan to try it. Be judicious in the use of pasta water you add to the near-finished pasta. The dish can turn soupy very quickly. This is not a recipe flaw. I suspect the problem lies with the tomatoes and the way they are drained and measured. I used whole plum tomatoes, gave them a good poke and let them drain before I crushed and added them to the pot. I like a slightly thicker sauce, so I used just a cup of the pasta water to dilute my sauce. I really think you'll like this dish. The cream cheese adds some nuance to the sauce and makes it more interesting than it might sound. This is family fare and when it is served with a crisp salad and crusty bread, I guarantee there will be satisfied smiles around your table. I hope you give this recipe a try. Here is how the pasta is made.
Pasta with Tomato-Cream Sauce...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Cooking Light magazine
8 ounces uncooked fettuccine or linguine
4 quarts boiling water
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped garlic
1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, drained and crushed
3 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
1/4 cup oil-cured olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 cup small fresh basil leaves
1/2 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved
1) Cook pasta in 4 quarts boiling water with 1/4 teaspoon salt for 8 minutes or until noodles are almost al dente. Drain pasta through a sieve over a bowl; reserve 1-1/3 cups pasta cooking water.
2) Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes or until very fragrant and tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and tomatoes; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in reserved 1-1/3 cups pasta water; bring to a boil. Add cream cheese; stir until smooth. Add pasta, olives, and red pepper; cook 3 minutes or until pasta is al dente, tossing to coat. Divide pasta mixture among 4 shallow bowls; top each serving with 1 tablespoon basil. Divide Parmigiano-Reggiano evenly among servings. Yield: 4 servings.
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