Food for the Soul
November 8, 2009, 12:02 am
Filed under: Food and Recipes, Main Dishes | Tags: , , ,

There are foods that I immdediately seek when it’s been a rough day. I had one of those days this past week. Let’s just say that being a nurse is sometimes hard, challenging, and takes an emotional toll.

But back to the food…

Pasta. One word, plain and simple. It’s the food I immediately think of when I need to feed not only my stomach, but heal my soul. Especially pasta with a homemade sauce that is flavorful, adaptable, and quick. I also generally have jarred pesto on hand and ready to use at a moment’s notice. Thus creamy pesto sauce was born. It’s an adaptation of an recipe, adapted from the ingredients that I had on hand at the moment.

After work, I came home, threw this sauce together in 20 minutes, added ingredients that I had on hand, and had a soul-satisfying meal on a plate in a flash, which is just the way comfort food needs to be prepared: quick, simple, and uncomplicated.

I hope that you find this sauce as satisfying as I did. It’s pictured here with linguine, chicken, mushrooms, peas, and a diced fresh tomato. But you could make any combination of ingredients and pasta that you wish. The original recipe called for shrimp, that would be delicious. Or, I think, that some artichoke hearts would pair perfectly as well. Use what you have on hand and ingredients that you find you enjoy. Make it yours.

Creamy Pesto Sauce
Adapted from an recipe


1 and 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 small onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, diced
2 tbsp butter
1 and 1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
1/4 pinch salt
1/4 pinch pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup of grated parmesean
1/2 cup ricotta
1/4 cup prepared basil pesto
1/4 cup pasta water

1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute onion until tender and translucent. Stir in garlic and butter and saute until garlic is soft and fragrant. Be careful not to burn the garlic.

2. Dissolve flour in milk, then stir in the skillet with the onions, garlic, and butter. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg, and simmer, stirring constantly, until liquid thickens (about 2 to 4 minutes).

3. Add cheese and stir until melted. Add pesto and stir to combine. Add pasta water to thin sauce and make more saucey. Remove from the heat. Add desired pasta and ingredients and toss until all is well coated in sauce. Serves two.


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