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Poor Man's Spagetti Alfredo
This is a low-maintenance, low-skill version of a recipe I stumbled across in a gourmet cookbook my mother bought me. The original version required the use of flower as a substrate, but that's too advanced for your typical college cook, so I whipped this up instead. Enjoy!
What you'll need:
1 lb box of spaghetti or similar noodles (my preference is for rigatti because it has a low tendency to stick to itself in the pot)
1 cup shredded/grated parmesean cheese (or a mix of parmesean and romano, if parmesean isn't to your liking...you can really work with around with most light dairy cheeses)
1 clove of garlic, about the size of your thumb, for flavor
Peppercorn, for flavor
Cream cheese in liberal amounts (you'll find out why later)
Milk (try to avoid skim milk, as it doesn't mix very well)
Start by boiling a pot of water to put your noodles in it. most noodles that I buy have a cook time of about 5-7 minutes, so by the time your timer goes off you'll be almost done with the sauce.
The sauce should be made in a shallow saucepan on LOW heat. I need to stress this part; too much heat WILL burn the cheese. This is probably the most important part of this recipe: take your time. start by adding milk until there's about a 1/2 inch thick pool on the bottom of your pan. The size doesn't matter; this is merely a base in which the other ingredients will me mixed.
Wait for a bit so the milk heats up. Don't turn up the heat. After about a minute, add the cheese and cream cheese in equal amounts, bit by bit. Each time, stir the sauce until the cream cheese is dissolved/melted. when you've run out of cheese (not cream cheese, just cheese), the fun starts.
Now you have to season the recipe to your liking. I start with the garlic. Take the garlic clove and impale it on a fork. Then, stir the sauce with the garlic-fork. This will add some garlic juice to the sauce and give it a bit of kick that I just love. You can omit this if you like and add peppercorn instead, or both (which is what I do), but it's really your personal preference.
Now, taste it. This is essential; this recipe has a lot of room for adjustment, so if you don't like what you taste, add more of something. More milk to make it thinner (something my friends demand in their pasta sauce), more cream cheese to make it smoother. If you have an excess of cheese, add some of that to make it, well, cheesier. Garlic and peppercorn as needed until it's just right.
Simply take your noodles and pour the sauce over 'em...it's that easy. According to my mum, it goes good with hard-boiled eggs, but don't take my word for it.