Do you see this? No, not the new burn mark on my beautiful countertop. The cute, adorable little garlic clove. I made that. (Ok, well, technically, God did, but I helped.) My very first garlic crop is ready to pick (pull up? dig?) and use. I believe I’m actually supposed to hang them or something, but this one smelled great, so I used it. Sometimes it’s these sort of little things that really make my day.

Thank goodness for distractions

I had been happily formatting and typing and creating labels for the store this afternoon, and trolling other sites for layout ideas, when I came across this recipe by someone named Holly on Centsless Meals. It sounded pretty good, and I had some of the ingredients on hand, so I decided to take a break from the computer and make a fancier dinner than the spaghetti I had originally planned. (Of course, another factor was the 4 baskets of laundry I could also then ignore and forgo folding until tomorrow). 

So, one thing led to another, and by the time I was done, I had added enough little things to this recipe that I can’t really even say I cooked this recipe.

Seriously. 

I didn’t have onions, but I did have some of my homemade spaghetti sauce that has onions and peppers added to it already.

Garden-lisious

Thanks to my bountiful garden, I did have garlic, but since mine are a little small, I crushed the whole clove. We like garlic, so that’s ok. 

I didn’t have Italian seasoning, but while I was looking in my spice drawer, I saw “basil” and immediately hit myself on the forehead.

“Duh”. I have tons of basil plants in that garden that I haven’t touched yet this year.

Gonna have to make some pesto later, but for tonight, I just ran out there again, cut off some leaves, washed them, and chopped them super small. Threw that in the sauce that was now merrily simmering on the stove.

Substitutions

Didn’t have garlic powder, but I did have a nice box of red wine. Now that’s a great substitution, any day. (A little red-neck, maybe, but don’t knock it until you try it.) Little things like that really make dinner great, you know?

I did have cream cheese and sour cream on hand, but no Parmesan. Likely you know already that I did have Asiago cheese, though. (See one of my first blogs for my feelings on Parmesan vs Asiago) 

No to rotini pasta, but yes to penne. No worries there. I’m pretty sure the number of varieties of pasta has something to do with crazy people, anyway. It’s all just different shapes of the same stuff, right?

Low carb variation

I did also make my usual side pasta using NuPasta. Seriously, if you haven’t tried this stuff yet, you might want to. All I had to do to make my dinner lower carb was run some hot water over the pasta, then mix it with the exact same sauce and bake it in my little casserole dish I keep for occasions such as this. Little things like using a low carb, high fibre noodle substitute means that I can have guilt-free seconds. 

Ok, so I didn’t layer the pasta with the sauce and cheese like Holly told me to. I’ve done that before and ended up with crunchy noodles. so this time, I just boiled the noodles to al denté, then mixed it all up together and poured it into a casserole. 

It seemed a little dry still, so I opened up a jar of store spaghetti sauce and poured it over everything before sprinkling lots of mozzarella over top of everything. 

Not so good at following instructions

I was going to follow her cooking instructions. Unfortunately, Greg was late coming home and I got distracted and I also had to time in the garlic bread I wanted to bake, too. Cause adding garlic bread can be one of those little things, too.

So, it baked a little longer than it probably should have. 

But it was very forgiving (I like that in a recipe). By the time Greg did show up with Ella, Garret and Sterling, dinner was ready and delicious. 

By the way, I rewrote the recipe to actually reflect my ingredients. You can find that recipe here.

Andrea’s Creamy Pasta