Monday, May 13, 2013

Pasta with Cream Cheese and Ricotta Sauce

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and a nice Mother’s Day.  Monday means back to work and back to blogging! 3DDinners was a little quiet last week because KK and I were inundated with Baked Ziti and Lightened-Up Cheesy Pastitsio leftovers.  I didn’t even get to cook on Friday, but at least we enjoyed our leftovers with a chilled bottle of Peju Provence.  The wine was absolutely wonderful! I was able to recognize the aromas of red berries in the wine and, using the vocabulary of a wine connoisseur, I described the wine as something that tasted “just like candy.” :) On Saturday, KK and I ventured to Wine Anthology in Clark, NJ, hunting for a bargain on our favorite Spanish wine – 2006 Claraval Garnacha.  I think our next wine-seeking adventure will be for more Peju Provence!

On Saturday evening, KK and I went with his parents to his cousin’s house for a family party.  We hung out with aunts, uncles, cousins, and newborn cousins!  The weather didn’t cooperate (i.e. torrential downpours!) and we were forced to stay inside, but everyone still had a great time! We also enjoyed some fabulous home-cooked Indian food which I will, one day, learn to perfect myself! KK’s brother and sister-in-law stayed with us on Saturday night, and we spent Sunday in NYC.  Our first stop was brunch at Dos Caminos where we were lucky enough to snag a table outside.  We started with a round of prickly pear margaritas and fresh guacamole; for main dishes – I had the breakfast quesadillas and KK had the breakfast tacos.  After a bit of window shopping, we found ourselves at Southwest Porch in Bryant Park.  We sat on the porch swings, enjoyed a few beers, and sporadically met up with one of my friends who lives on the UWS.  She convinced KK and I to watch the Spurs/Golden State game with her at Ainsworth Park.  Although we’d only planned to stay for the first half, KK couldn’t leave until the game ended in OT.

When we finally made it back to Hoboken, I whipped up this quick dinner from How To Simplify.  This hearty, filling dinner was just what KK and I needed as a cold front moved over the east coast on Sunday night.  I reduced the amount of pasta for a few reasons: to reduce the amount of leftovers, to increase the sauce-to-pasta ratio, and because we had a partially used box of pasta that looked perfect for this dish! Since there were already veggies mixed in the pasta, I decided to forgo making a salad.  We cooked up a few pieces of garlic bread instead.  Next time I’ll add more peas, and KK even suggested adding chicken.  I love that he’s starting to think of (somewhat) creative ways to change up recipes! 

Pasta with Cream Cheese and Ricotta Sauce
Adapted from How To Simplify
Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4

12 oz. pasta, such as Farfalle or Rotini
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 
1 large onion, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup frozen peas, thawed 
4 ounces cream cheese
3 tablespoons Ricotta cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese 

1. Cook pasta according to package directions.

2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet.  Saute onion and carrots for 2-3 minutes.  Pour chicken broth into skillet, bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.  Add thawed peas into the mixture, and continue simmering for 1-2 more minutes.

3. Add cream cheese, Ricotta cheese, and basil to vegetable mixture, and stir until smooth.  Stir in pasta and toss to coat.  Season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

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