At this point in time, we all know the droning intoned voice saying, “at this point in time” regarding the pandemic.
So, “at this point in time,” sometimes I’ll order groceries online and pick them up to avoid crowds. But, when that happens, substitutions are part of the game.
For instance, a few weeks ago I ordered 6 jalapenos, and also on my list was green olives. So, when I unloaded the bag and saw that they had substituted in jalapeno stuffed green olives I thought, “Heh. Someone is very good and intuitive at their job!”
In that same order, I’d ordered a small container of Laughing Cow* cheese for our evening cocktails with Mom. However, they were out of the small packages of it, so I got a very large container of it.
“That’s cool,” I thought. “That will last us for weeks of cocktail hours.”
However, after one extremely hectic day in the studio I really, really, wanted a fast and easy dinner after my glass of wine. I opened the fridge and saw the 20-count container of cheese, and right next to it was a container of cotija. In the crisper I had a massive amount of arugula, and also a jar of sundried tomatoes packed in oil.
That would do the trick!
I boiled up a bunch of cavatappi pasta, and dinner was on the table in less than 20 minutes.
And it was awesome! Creamy, savory, a titch sweet from the sundried tomatoes, and peppery from the arugula.
So, the next time you’re in the mood for a creamy pasta, look toward your cheese shelf.
*Note: We literally have no affiliation with the company. We just buy their stuff sometimes.
Quick, Easy, and Nearly Hand’s Off Creamy Pasta Sauce
6 oz. cavatappi, or other small pasta
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 medium shallot, diced
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
4-5 triangles Laughing Cow (or other spreadable wedge cheese), roughly chopped
¼ cup sundried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and thinly sliced
¼ cup crumbled cotija or feta cheese
½ cup baby arugula
Cook pasta according to directions. Reserve 1 cup pasta water, drain pasta, and run under cool water to stop the cooking process. Reserve.
In a large pot, heat butter over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add the shallot and season with salt, pepper, and pepper flakes.
Sauté for 5 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium-low.
Add Laughing Cow to the pan, along with enough reserved pasta water to turn it into a smooth sauce.
Add in cooked pasta, sundried tomatoes, cotija, and arugula.
Stir until pasta is warmed back through.