Hello blog world…I’ve been slightly inactive for a couple weeks. College life is super busy, and I just haven’t had a whole lot to blog about. But now I do!
I really love having a full kitchen in my apartment. It’s so convenient, and I’ve been exploring my culinary talents. Fortunately, I’ve had more success than failure in the kitchen, but I’m sure I’ll get confident and try something way out of my league.
Thus far, my favorite thing to cook is pasta. My mom makes delicious mac and cheese at home; it’s one of the home foods I miss the most. I asked her to send me her recipe* so I could attempt to do it myself. My rendition was good, but nowhere near as good as Mom’s. Tonight, I was in a pasta-cooking mood, but I didn’t want regular mac and cheese. Using my mom’s recipe as a base, I created my own pasta dish. And it was delicious, if I do say so myself.
You can make this dish wish pretty much any kind of pasta you like, except maybe spaghetti or something like that. Tonight, I used bow tie, but I’m sure shells, elbows, penne, rotini, or pretty much anything else would be fine. I boiled about half of the box, which was plenty for me, and will provide leftovers for the next week.
The sauce is probably the most complicated part of this dish, but that’s not saying much since it’s pretty easy. Melt one 8-oz block of cream cheese with a handful of Italian cheese blend, a splash of milk, and a spoonful of pesto. I bought the pesto at the grocery store, but you can certainly make it yourself! It’s a thick sauce, so for a thinner consistency, add more milk.
Once the pasta is soft, drain it, run some cold water over it, and drain it again. I like to drizzle mine in olive oil for some extra flavor and no-stickiness. Pour the pasta into a lightly-greased casserole dish, and then toss in the sauce. You can bake it as is, or top with more cheese; I topped mine with a mix of crushed Ritz crackers and parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes, until it looks gooey and delicious. This is the end product:
Yeah, it was delicious.
Soon enough, I’m going to have to learn to cook some things other than pasta. But for now, I’m pretty proud of my creation. Try it yourself, and maybe add your own twist to it.
* For my mom’s traditional mac and cheese, use elbow macaroni, and make a sauce out of cheddar and milk. The rest is the same.