Thursday, May 27

Easy Pasta Sauce

I am dog sitting (which is more like a vacation, since the dogs are great and the family has a nice backyard and a great kitchen) for the weekend. Since I am on my own for meals (though my meal time seems to coincide just perfectly with the pup's meal time!), I thought it might be nice to experiment with some new recipes with ingredients in their kitchen (they told me I could do this, don't you worry!).

For dinner this evening, I had a great homemade cheesy-mustard sauce over shells, topped with fried zucchini. They order their produce from Growing Power, which for those of you who are not aware of Growing Power, it is an urban farm in Milwaukee, WI. Growing Power focuses on providing foods to the local community and grows a majority of its food crops within the city limits, in greenhouses. The farm is founded by former NBA player Will Allen, who is receiving much attention lately, for his urban farming initiatives and for recently being awarded the MacArthur Genius Award in 2008. Myself and several others at Marquette participate in the Market Basket program through Growing Power, in which students, faculty, staff and community members are able to order produce through Growing Power at a reasonable price and it is delivered weekly to a local pick-up point. This program is really great because it provides fresh, affordable and local produce to people who otherwise might not have access to it. All-in-all, I was excited to incorporate a locally grown veggie into my dinner dish tonight.

Here is my homemade recipe for cheesy-mustard sauce. Its quick and easy so anyone can do it, and most of the ingredients are probably waiting for you in your pantry or fridge!
Cheesy-Mustard Pasta Sauce
1/2 cup of milk (I used 2% so it would be extra creamy and delicious!)
1 Tablespoon of mustard
1 Teaspoon of olive oil
1 Tablespoon of water combined with 1 Tablespoon of flour (I used rice flour, because that is what I had available. Otherwise, I would suggest white flour)
1/4 cup of shredded cheese (I used parmesan, but feel free to experiment!)

1. In a small sauce pan, combine milk, mustard and olive oil and whisk together. Over medium heat, bring to a boil, stirring constantly.

2. Slowly pour in water and flour mixture, stirring constantly. Add cheese and stir until thickened. Pour over cooked pasta and top with stir-fried vegetables!

I really liked this combo, with the parmesan cheese, mustard and zucchini. The zucchini complemented the spicy mustard perfectly, and the mellow flavors of the parmesan added just the perfect amount of flavor without dominating the sauce. Let me know if you try another combination that you are particularly fond of! I would love to hear your ideas.

Happy Eating!

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