I’ve got a super easy one to share with you guys today, does that sound good? Oh, and it only takes 30 minutes and one pot! Can I get a round of applause for that part!
I know that, for me personally, midweek is when I most often end up wanting to resort to simple things and comfort foods to get through to the weekend. I’d say it’s highly probable that this is the case for a lot of you too, am I right? Either way, this pasta is perfect for whenever you have one of those slump days and don’t feel like doing a lot of cooking but you still want something homemade.
As you might have guessed, I spend a huge chunk of my time in the kitchen. It’s my happy place at this moment in my life and it always has been for as far back as I can remember. From sitting on my mom’s counter licking a spatula to playing food network chef in the bathtub with my sis making “wash rag pies”, I’ve just always loved it. People always ask me when I started cooking or being interested in food prep and it’s weird because I honestly don’t have like some climatic moment or epiphany to tell them about. This is just somehow where I’ve landed from a lifetime of growing up in a food-loving family.
I do have quite a few memories of food that stand out more than others though, and one of them is definitely the first time my dad showed me and Liv how to fix the pink box of creamy pasta that we used to love so much (Yep, that trashy semi-instant stuff). It’s one of those comfort foods that was always welcome even if not the most balanced of meals.
So that’s kind of what inspired this recipe and the whole time I was making it I was feeling like a little kid again in footy jammies on a snow day hearing Yanni playing on my daddy’s stereo. Of course, I added some upgrades like mushrooms and smoked salmon (which is completely optional) because I can’t help myself, but essentially I think it’s very close to my memory of the old favorite, just much better because it starts with fresh and whole ingredients.
It’s also really versatile on the veggies you can add. For example, if mushrooms and peas don’t float your boat you can just switch them out with say, broccoli, or zucchini, or whatever you want. I put salmon with it also but chicken or shrimp would be awesome too. It’s kind of a no fail situation here, creamy, cozy fast, easy, and everyone loves it!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- juice and zest from 1 lemon
- 2 cups whole milk
- 4 - 6 cups water
- 16 ounces angel hair pasta
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
- 2 cups portabello mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 ounces cream cheese
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
- 1/2 cup shelled spring peas
- cracked black pepper and sea salt to taste
- 16 ounces smoked salmon, skin removed (optional)
- Heat olive oil in a large high-sided skillet (or shallow pot) with a lid. Add garlic and lemon zest and stir over medium high heat for 3 to 4 minutes until golden brown. Remove pan from heat for a moment and stir in lemon juice, milk, and 4 cups water then return to heat, cover, and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, add noodles and 1 teaspoon salt and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and seperating noodles with a fork, until the pasta is nearly soft and most of the water is absorbed. Add more water if it begins to stick.
- Toss in basil and mushrooms and pour in cream, then re-cover pan and continue simmering for 3 to 5 minutes until mushrooms are softened. Now add the cream cheese, parmesan, peas, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Gently stir until cheese is evenly melted in and smooth. Serve hot.
- For the salmon, if you are adding it, you can either add it directly to the hot pasta and stir in until warm or heat a small skillet with a thin coat of oil and warm the salmon to serve along side pasta.