Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Easy Crab Pasta with Cheesy White Sauce

While Bryan was on his business trip, there came a night when I had nothing planned for dinner.
I was tired and achy--meaning I had no desire to venture out of my comfy home in search of vitals.
Nor did I desire to spend a long time on my feet cooking something.
It was quite the conundrum lol.

I started rummaging around in my pantry, and found the rest of a box of bow tie pasta.
In the fridge there was my favorite pre-cooked, imitation crab meat, and little else.
I also had a left-over bag of frozen green beans, and enough raw ingredients to whip up some white sauce from scratch.
I ended up with pasta mixed with a yummy cheesy pasta sauce and crab meat, with green beans on the side.
It was wonderful!  And only took about 15 minutes total to make!

Pasta (either bow tie or, as seen in these pictures, penne)
Imitation crab meat, chunk style
2 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoons flour (I adjusted this measurement from the original to get a thinner pasta sauce)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 dash of pepper
1 cup milk
Shredded Mexican or Mozzarella Cheese

The first step is to fill your pasta pot with water and set it to boiling.
Once the pasta water is boiling, melt the 2 Tablespoons of butter in the sauce pot on medium low heat.

Once the pasta water is boiling, dump the desired amount of pasta into the pot.  I always put in more than I think I'll need--leftovers are wonderful things!
The pasta will take 7-12 minutes to cook (depending on the type of pasta you're using).
Make sure you stir it occasionally, otherwise it gets all clumped together.

Once the pasta is settled in its boiling water, it's time to turn your attention to the pasta sauce.
As the butter finishes melting, gather your dry ingredients (1 Tablespoon flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, dash of pepper).

Once the butter is completely melted, add the dry ingredients and stir it all together.
In the original recipe for the sauce, you stir until you get a paste.
Well, in this adjusted version (less flour), you won't get a true paste, so just mix everything together until it starts to thicken up a bit.

Let the sauce sit while you measure out a cup of milk.  This is also a good time to give the boiling pasta a stir.

Pour the cup of milk into the sauce pan all at once.
Stir everything together for about 3-5 minutes.

Now let it cook for another 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently but not constantly.
The sauce will thicken quite a bit, but still be liquidy.
Once it starts to bubble on the edges and develop a sort of skin on the top when left alone for a few seconds, it's pretty much done.
Stir the sauce well to mix the skin back in, and then add your mix-ins!

Once again, I added garlic powder (until it tasted sufficiently garlicky) to the sauce, stirring it in well.

This time, I added Mexican cheese a little at a time, stirring each addition in completely until the sauce reached my desired thickness.

About now is when the pasta should be done.
Put a lid on the sauce and turn the heat down to low.
Using a collander, drain the pasta.
I always put 1 Tablespoon of butter in the bottom of the now-emptied pasta pan before pouring the pasta back in.
Once the pasta is back in, I add another Tablespoon of butter on top, and the stir it all around so that the pasta gets equally buttered.

Once the pasta is done, pour it into a big bowl.
Add how every much imitation crab meat you desire.  

Next, the pour the sauce on top.
Using a big spoon (I prefer a wooden mixing spoon) thoroughly mix the pasta, "crab", and sauce together.
Ta Da!  It's done and delicious--especially with steamed veggies on the side!


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