Creamy and Tangy Pasta

8 Apr

To be honest, the following recipe is quite strange and will probably seem unappetizing to many people.  This was definitely a throw-everything-in-your-pantry-and-fridge-into-a-pot sort of effort.  I was fighting urges when I made this dish – the urge to make a creamy, Italian sort of pasta dish with hearty potato, silky softened red onion, and a lots of French butter and the competing urge to make a tangy, spicy Asian stir-fry inspired by the homemade kimchi in my fridge (thanks to the pure generosity of one of my students).  In the end, I decided to combine them and see how butter and cream paired with kimchi.  Worried that I’d overdone it, I threw in some cheese to make it all gooey because melted cheese rarely detracts from a dish.

Ingredients:

2 T. butter
1 cup whole milk
Italian herbs
3 T. tomato paste
salt and pepper
1 small red onion, cut into thin slices
4 small white potatoes, cut length-wise and then sliced in thin semi-circles
1/2 cup sliced kimchi
3 T. colby-jack cheese, diced into small cubes
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups cooked pasta, lightly coated in extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:

Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat.  Add milk, tomato paste, Italian herbs, salt and pepper and whisk to create a thin sauce.  Add onions and potatoes, stir to heart through and then reduce heat to low.  Partially-cover pan and let sit, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are cooked through and onions are soft.   Uncover pan and increase heat until sauce thickens a little.  Remove from heat and combine in a large bowl with pasta, beans, kimchi and cheese cubes.  Serve immediately.

Note:

The sauce base of this recipe alone is great for pasta, and the dish may taste even better without the kimchi and cheese (it will definitely be simpler).  Also, I suggest sauteeing the potatoes and onions in butter and oil after making sauce and then combining them later.  Thinly-sliced potatoes taste great in pasta dishes when they are a little browned.

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