Pasta Experiment v.1.0

Lately, all I’ve been eating is soup and cupcakes.  Now a girl can only live off these two things for so long (luckily it takes far longer to get sick of the latter) before she needs to climb out of her winter-induced food rut.  In the end, both these foods failed to satisfy my number one craving… my insane desire for CARBS.  Hence the creation of this pasta dish.

UPDATE: This is a screenshot of the hilarious/devastatingly upsetting email I got from my mom shortly after she read this post.  My mom is a dietician and doesn’t 100 per cent approve of the cupcake quest aforementioned in this entry.

And yes, I said creation.  Alright, so maybe I was partially inspired by a Canadian Living recipe, but the only thing that was similar about the two recipes were the caramelized red onions and the walnuts.  Nonetheless, here is a 1/10 credit to them for this veggie loaded dish.

But I do feel like I should start making more of my own dishes.  I’ve apparently garnered some sort of reputation for being a foodie, and to live up to this title I need to start experimenting around more with my meals.  Through the creation of different dishes, I’ve discovered that I’m atrociously bad at naming said meals.  As a journalism student, I can’t write headlines, and as a foodie, I can’t name recipes.  Shame on me.  So for lack of any sort of naming talent, I decided to call this one Pasta Experiment v.1.0, in hopes that I can one day change the title to something that vaguely resembles a proper recipe name.

Now that I’m having a petite pity party, I also feel bad about the pictures.  As most of you are aware, the winter has made the days dreadfully short.  This, combined with the fact that I often cook these meals at 9 p.m. when I finally get home from school, all contribute to the re-heated wonder that occurs for almost all my photos.  What this means is that the day after I make this meal, I yank my leftovers out of the fridge and slop them down on a pretty plate during the bright morning hours.  I then photograph this delicious looking meal while drinking my orange pekoe tea, and send my stomach into a series of unhappy gurgling fits until it gets fed a proper lunch.  Such a first-world problem, I apologize.

But enough with my ranting, here are the pictures…

Also, you can find my recipe after this short photographic interlude.

Recipe: Hilary’s Pasta Experiment v. 1.0
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– ½ red onion, thinly sliced
– 1 red pepper, diced
– ½ tsp salt and pepper
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– ½ cup walnut pieces
– 2 tsp red wine vinegar
– 3 cups baby spinach, chopped
– 100 g feta cheese, crumbled
– 200 g spaghetti noodles, whole wheat or white

White sauce
– 1 tbsp butter, melted
– 1 tbsp all purpose flour
– ½ heavy cream (whipping cream)
– 1 cup milk
– 1 bay leaf
– ½ tsp salt and pepper
– ½ cup Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in non-stick skillet of medium heat.  Fry red onion and pepper until onion is lightly caramelized, about 10 minutes.  Add garlic, walnut pieces and red wine vinegar.  Cook for 5 minutes.  Add baby spinach and stir until wilted, about 3 minutes.  Sprinkle crumble feta cheese overtop of the vegetables, stirring to combine.

Meanwhile, in a separate pot, boil water and cook pasta until tender.

Meanwhile, make your white sauce.  Melt butter in saucepan.  Once melted, add flour, stirring constantly for 2 minutes.  Whisk in heavy cream, milk, bay leaf, salt and pepper and allow mixture to boil.  Once boiling, reduce heat to low and allow sauce to simmer for 15 minutes, whisking frequently.  Add Parmesan cheese and stir to combine.  Remove bay leaf.  Pour thickened sauce over vegetable mixture.  Add to cooked pasta.  Makes 4 servings.

Tada! There you have it, an already-classic Hilary meal.  SO much better than the plain spaghetti and tomato sauce I ate last year!

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