It was Bill’s birthday earlier this week and since pasta has got to be his most favorite dish, I figured, why not spoil him? The kids were joining us as well and everyone of them usually likes noodles too. I knew that I was taking a bit of a chance with this dish because it was “different”, but they all tried and and fortunatlly loved it too. This is a simply decedent dish made from freshly cooked pasta and was coated in a creamy sauce. It includes a touch of cream cheese and Parmesan to make it ultra rich and creamy. It is a very versatile dish because you could omit the Cajun part; change out the pasta; add fresh veggies like squash or spinach; the sky’s the limit! Cream cheese is often the secret ingredient that I use to give some of my sauces just the right consistency without the process of creating a roux. The key to creating a successful cream cheese dish that isn’t lumpy is to make sure that it has softened slightly, and is as close to room temperature as possible before you use it. Since I was also serving Cajun chicken, I decided to use up a bit of some smokey chipolte cream cheese too and it was really quite tasty!
1 pound pasta, cooked but not rinsed. I used Linguine
2 14.5 oz cans of Fire Roasted Tomatoes (diced)
1 Onion, chopped
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 1/2 Cups Chicken Stock
2 Garlic Cloves, pressed
4 oz. Cream Cheese
4 oz. Smokey Chipolte Cream Cheese Spread (Philadelphia)
1/3 Cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
1 teaspoon Nutmeg, fresh grated
1/4 Cup Oregano, fresh chopped
1/4 Cup Basil, fresh chopped
1 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning
Salt & Pepper, to taste
Shredded Italian Cheese for garnish
Heat oil and melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook until they are translucent and soft. Add pressed garlic and cook for an additional two to three minutes and season with salt and pepper.
Add canned tomatoes and reduce heat to a simmer. Continue to cook until the juices have reduced by about half.
Add cream cheeses and stir with wire whisk until smooth.
Stir in Parmesan remove from heat when sauce reaches desired consistency.
Toss with hot pasta and fresh herbs.
Add in Italian seasoning and garnish with shredded cheese before serving.
We enjoyed our pasta with Cajun Chicken, Brussels sprouts, a salad and awesome Red Lobster Style biscuits! Dinner paired perfectly with Mitch’s CE2V 2004 Cabernet! Sooooo Good!