Creamy Garlic Pasta with Toasted Pine Nuts

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While I can’t say how often I might actually make this, this pasta recipe from Buns In My Oven is one of my new favorites. It is nice and creamy, has great flavor and the addition of the pine nuts (my own idea) gave it just the right amount of crunch to balance it out.

Making it was pretty simple but you did have to pay attention to it, especially at the end. I found that the there was no extra liquid in the pan when the pasta was done cooking. In fact, I set the timer for 10 minutes (to make it al dente) and about 7 minutes in, the liquid was pretty much gone. As a result, I found myself doing a lot of stirring so it didn’t stick to the pot. Then, I had to quickly put the cheese in (I used an 8 oz can of Parmesan) with more stirring, then the heavy cream.

Actually, it wasn’t heavy cream, it was a heavy cream substitute. Let this be a lesson to always make a good shopping list. Normally I do – I sit down, read through my recipes and make sure I get everything I need. But this last week I went to the store twice (twice!) without really making a list. And so, I missed a few things. In place of the heavy cream I used a mixture of melted butter (1/3 cup) and milk (3/4 cup). Now, it made a bit more than the 3/4 cup total I needed but I was okay with that. I had set out to make the pasta al dente knowing that it would probably soak up the cream so a little more was ok. And, it really worked out since I had run out of liquid anyways. Lots more stirring and then I had to take it off the heat (not just turn the burner off) as it was sticking a little bit to the pot (it was really creamy).

I decided to add the pine nuts as I felt it needed something else. I didn’t have any fresh parsley so I sprinkled a tiny bit of dried on it but it still felt like it was missing something. While it didn’t add color or anything like that, it did add a nice crunch that I felt balanced the dish out.

The pasta was just a little on the under cooked side (ran out of liquid remember) but not so much that you were crunching it and thinking about it the whole time.

Overall, a great dish, something I will likely make again. Oh, and how great is my plating and picture? :o) It’s the little things sometimes.

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