Thursday, October 22, 2009

Broccoli and Tortellini Light Alfredo

Recipe #19: Sorry, no link for this recipe. I found it on the back of a package of Green Giant frozen broccoli so you should be able to find it easily too. Alternatively, email me ( and I'll send it to you.

Luckily for me, I only needed to buy one ingredient for this one: the sour cream. I figured I didn't have nutmeg at home, and was willing to substitute a random spice picked at the last minute, but was pleasantly surprised to discover I do own nutmeg. I can't remember when I bought it but it's not too old.

This recipe also mentions white pepper and hot pepper. White pepper? What the heck is white pepper? I know now, because I asked a friend, but do people seriously buy pepper according to colour? As for the hot pepper, no. I don't do those. Verboten. I had an intensely painful experience with some Flamin' Hot Cheetos recently - thankfully they're not currently available in Canada - and I don't gravitate to spicy food in general. Too much pain and running nose.

I'm glad I read this recipe more than once before I started making it. I was assembling the ingredients and hauled out an onion which I was prepared to try grating in lieu of slicing this time. Something made me look once more at the quantities and I noticed it said 1 tbsp of "finely chopped onion". 1 TBSP??! You want me to go to the trouble of hacking up 1 tbsp of onion? No. Not going to happen. Because then I will have leftover onion stinking up my fridge. If I'm going to destruct an onion for cooking purposes, it's all or nothing. This time, I chose nothing. I added extra garlic to compensate because garlic's good for my immune system.

I was afraid I'd wrecked the sauce when I panicked at the hissing milk slowly being poured into the pot and quickly dumped the rest of it in. Once I whisked in the flour gradually, and waited a while for it to come to a boil, the sauce managed to save itself by thickening somewhat. Whew! I was wracking my brain trying to remember how I made sauce before but was coming up blank. Patience appears to have paid off in this case.

Overall this recipe is pretty easy to make. It doesn't call for a lot of exotic ingredients, save for the container of fat-free sour cream sitting in the fridge with no calling now. Unfortunately, perhaps because of the missing noxious onion and hot pepper, my version turned out kind of bland. My upbringing in the House of Bland coming back to haunt me perhaps? I did think about hurling some mustard powder into the sauce, but never actually got around to doing it. I discussed the situation of bland sauce with a culinary friend who suggested maybe some lemon juice in the boiling water to infuse the pasta and broccoli with flavour, or a bit of that Lea & Perrins "rooster" sauce added to my sauce. Now I have some ideas for next time, and some semi-bland food for lunch tomorrow...

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