I always have pasta in my pantry, for my carb days and when I just want to whip up something quick and easy. I have a problem though. There are picky pasta eaters in the house. Ah-mm loves pasta and will eat any kind that I cook- spaghetti, penne, fettuccine, macaroni, anything, in whatever sauce- cream sauce, tomato-based, pesto. 88 has a weak stomach and is convinced that eating pasta will give her gastric pains, so I try not to cook pasta for her if I can help it, unless if it is macaroni soup. Jason is quite picky about his pasta sauces- he hates pesto, doesnt quite like aglio olio (I love both! Pesto is delicious and nutty and not quite as plain as aglio olio which I like very much too), loves cream and bolognese, which I don’t always eat because #1 this is pasta we’re talking about and #2 I’m not gonna drown my pasta in sauces, the way he kinda prefers.
So when the chance came on Monday, when 88 said her tummy’s upset and will buy porridge from the coffeeshop, I sprang at the chance to cook a pasta dish. I cooked a white wine cream sauce but only just enough to coat the penne pasta with (so that it is not against my principles). I didnt go out especially to buy any ingredient for this dish- the only reason why I wanted to cook this was I had to use up the evaporated milk that I used last week in the Mongolia Chicken and Fried Fish Bee Hoon. When planning your weekly menu, think of how you can use an excess ingredient in another dish, so that you don’t waste any food or money. To ensure I used my $1.85 can of low-fat evaporated milk wisely, I cooked Mongolia Chicken on Tuesday, Fried Fish Soup on Friday, and this white wine cream pasta the following Monday. No wastage!
Makes 3 servings
What I used:
Half a packet of Penne, about 250g
120ml of low-fat evaporated milk, about 12 tbsp
120ml white wine (if you don’t have white wine, you can substitute with chicken broth but then we’ve gotta change the title of this post)
1 medium onion
2 tbsp Spring onions, chopped
3 tbsp cooked green peas
1 tbsp flour
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 chicken fillets (I buy mine in a large packet. If you don’t cook as often, you can buy those that are sold in trays)
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp oyster sauce
2 tsp minced garlic
1.Marinate the chicken fillets in 1 tsp garlic, soy sauce and oyster sauce for 20 mins then airfry, bake, or panfry (if you must) til cooked. Set aside.
2. Cook the pasta according to package instructions, drain, and KEEP pasta water. DO NOT RINSE IN COLD WATER!
3. Heat oil then add onions. Cook for 4 mins til tender. Add white wine, 5 tbsp of reserved pasta water and remaining garlic, bring to boil and cook for 3 mins.
4. Combine flour and 8 tbsp reserved pasta water til smooth, then add to pan. Wait til it boils, reduce heat and cook for 2 mins.
5. Add evaporated milk then simmer, uncovered for 4 mins. If the sauce is too thick at this time, add a bit more pasta water.
6. Switch off the flame and add the chopped spring onions.
7. Arrange pasta on plate, add the peas, ladle sauce over and top with chicken fillet.
How much I spent:
$1.25 for pasta
$1.50 for chicken fillets
$0.30 for onion
$0.65 for 1/3 can of low-fat evaporated milk
All other seasonings from my pantry
Total cost per serving: $1.23
This was the first time that I’ve cooked a white wine cream sauce with evaporated milk! A regular package of President cream costs more than $4, and when we can substitute, why not? I was thinking what I was going to do with the leftover 1/3 evaporated milk in my fridge and this was the perfect recipe. By the way, did you know that you should never refrigerate an opened can of anything? Unused canned stuff should be transferred to a bottle or dish for storage. Please also do not rinse the cooked pasta in cold water unless you’re making a cold pasta salad. The pasta water helps bind the sauces and ingredients to the pasta and results in better flavour. Pasta, when cooked well, will not turn soggy and will remain al dente!
Seems like Jason is a convert. Yay to no more pasta drowned in unhealthy sauces!