I love white sauce. Of course, the problem with the delicious pasta covering is that it’s not always the healthiest thing in the world. I don’t believe I’ve ever made a full-on cream sauce because of the poor health implications, but I have tried a few healthier workaround recipes that have been alright. A few weeks back, I stumbled upon one that’s milk instead of cream based in a cookbook I almost never look in called Monday To Friday Pasta by Michael Urvater. I think I assumed this book was something that someone gave us at some point before I got into cooking or something and just never perused it. I’ve since made a few things from it and have to say it’s definitely worth checking out.
Anyway, the recipe for Spaghetti with Creamy Spinach Sauce (page 229) sounded tasty and simple, so I grabbed the ingredients and got to work. In addition to being good, it was also pretty easy to put together. I wanted to get some more protein in there, so in addition to making the recipe as it stands, I also grilled up some chicken breasts on the George Foreman and threw those in at the end. Otherwise, I followed the recipe as it’s written.
As always, I got the salted water for the pasta on the heat first. I also threw the spinach in my strainer because I had just gone to the grocery store and it was still frozen. There was no way it was going to thaw in time naturally, so I kept spraying it with hot water, which eventually worked. After it was all apart, I squeezed out the water and was good to go.
Meanwhile, I worked on the sauce. You melt a few tablespoons of butter in a pan and then whisk in two tablespoons of flour. After a few seconds, add two cups of milk and whisk some more. Simmer that and whisk for a bit and then add the spinach and simmer this new combination for about a minute. You then add two tablespoons of grated Parmesan, add salt and pepper and combine with the pasta. I also added the chicken in at this point and was done.
The white sauce might not be as creamy as the best one you’ve ever had in a restaurant, but I’ve got to say, it was pretty great for a quickly put together home meal. I’m not obsessed with calories or anything, but I do try to make smart cooking choices and I think this is a pretty good one.