After a while I find the stuff in cardboard boxes, starts to taste about as bland and appealing as the packaging. Yuck! I recently started looking for simple things, recipes I can make at home that taste good.
I have a recipe for making your own pasta and will be posting it soon. I think adding that extra element of home made, would make this even better than it already is. But for now, here goes.
The sauce is simple and actually a recipe I got out of the booklet that came with my pasta machine.
8 oz or one box of cream cheese
1 stick of butter
1/2 cup of milk or cream
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt & pepper to taste
This is for 8 oz of pasta. Might be good for a single person or a couple, but not a family unless it is a side dish.
Most of the boxes of pasta I find are 16 oz or 1 lb. So here comes the substitutions and alternatives...
2 boxes of cream cheese
1 stick of butter (2 sticks is too much)
1- 1 1/2 cups of milk (I tend to "eyeball it" sometimes) Half and half works too.
salt & pepper to taste.
1/2 cup Swiss cheese (It was all I had at the time) About 1/4 of a 1 lb block, grated. Half a block (8 oz) is too much.
Let the cream cheese and butter sit out and soften, or you can put them in a pan on low heat to speed up the process and help it along... as it begins to melt and blend together add in the milk, grated cheese, salt & pepper. How easy was that for Alfredo sauce?
Cube and cook a package of chicken.
Boneless, Skinless chicken tenderloins is a cheap cut that will go far this way. I found it for just under $4 at the grocery store.
When the chicken is nearly done, boil the pasta, draining when done.
Combine the chicken, pasta and sauce in a 9 x 13 baking dish. If it is still hot, serve it up.
Otherwise you can cover and freeze this for later.
When ready to heat and serve- cook it in the oven set on 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, pull the pan out and stir to ensure even cooking. Put back in for another 15-20 minutes or until it is nice and bubbly. Enjoy!
Next time I make this- I will be adding some chopped fresh spinach. It will bring some color and add a vegetable. Broccoli would also work for this.
Cream cheese is a staple at our house. An 8 oz box is $1 or $1.25 for the store brand at the local grocery. I buy a bunch of it whenever we go if my reserves are getting low...
Butter- I used to buy the big tub of country crap. Not any more! Now it is unsalted butter, 4 sticks, generic brand $2-$3 a box. You can freeze butter with no issue. Same thing I stock up when I can catch it on sale.
Cheese- Store brands, on sale- best bet.
Pasta- same thing, store brand, on sale unless making your own...