Growing up, my parents always made home cooked meals, but they were usually on a time constraint because they both worked full time. We ate a lot of partially homemade meals, like a fried pork chop with a side of the prepackaged, flavored, cook-in-10-minutes pasta or rice. Nothing against cooking with easy time-savers, but I don’t like seeing all the ingredients in some of those yummy sides that I can’t even pronounce and definitely don’t want in my body. My hands-down favorite side, the one I would always pick if I got to pick the side for dinner, was the Knorr pasta sides Creamy Garlic Shells. I really try not to buy them anymore because of the weird ingredients and how expensive they are for what you get, so I made up this recipe. It’s cheesier and way more flavorful, and I know every single ingredient that went in to it! I top it with sriracha and some frozen peas, but you could add in some fresh spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, blistered tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms…the list goes on. Anything that pairs well with Parmesan and cream belongs in this dish.
This is another budget dish with a lot of flavor. I calculated 4 servings at about $2.50 total.
Creamy Garlic Alfredo Pasta with Peas
- 1/2 box any type of short pasta (I prefer something that holds the sauce)
- 1 1/3 cups skim or 1% milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup frozen peas
- sriracha, optional, to taste
Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and do not rinse or your sauce will not stick. In the saucepan you cooked the pasta in, melt the butter over medium heat. Add in the flour and whisk. Cook until your roux is starting to bubble. Slowly add in the milk, whisking constantly to prevent lumps; add the salt, pepper, garlic, onion powder, and oregano and bring to a boil to thicken. Once thickened, stir in the parmesan and the frozen peas. Add the pasta back to the pot, stir, let warm through, and serve.