My husband, Tres, travels a lot for work, and spring happens to be his busiest time of year so I often fly solo when it comes to my meals. As much as I would rather have Tres around to hang out with and eat dinner with (since we ARE the two best friends that anyone could have :), I happen to enjoy my "me" time quite a bit. I do all kinds of things alone: I'll go for long walks on the river. I'll find a coffee shop, beer joint, or wine bar, take a book and read for hours. I'll grab a table on a patio and have lunch, soaking up the sun. Last week, I even went to a nice reataurant for dinner, had a glass of wine and a fancy meal - all by my lonesome! The possibilities are endless when it comes to "me" time!
What I mostly think of, though, is curling up on the couch and watching a good movie with a dinner I've cooked for just myself. It can be difficult cooking for just one person but in my opinion, a good answer is always pasta! It's typically always in my pantry, I can measure it out to be the perfect portion for one person, and I can add anything to it that I want and it makes a complete meal! I came up with this recipe one weeknight when Tres was away, and I thought it'd be the perfect recipe to feature for ONE!
Grocery List (for ONE):
1 1/2 tbsp butter
1/2 tbsp flour
2/3 cup milk - warmed
Dash of salt
Dash of white pepper
Pinch of nutmeg
1/4 cup good quality gouda cheese - freshly grated
3 oz spaghetti (or whatever pasta you want to use)
1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
Parmesan cheese (optional)
1. Melt 1/2 tbsp of butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk for several minutes, but don't let the roux turn brown. You want the roux to stay white while the raw taste is cooked out of the flour.
2. Slowly add the warm milk, constantly whisking until it all comes together. Bring sauce to a slight boil and simmer, letting the sauce thicken. Add the salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Taste for seasoning and add more if needed. Add the grated cheese and whisk until melted and smooth.
3. Add pasta to a pot of boiling, salted water. Let cook according to the package directions, until al dente. Drain pasta and reserve 1/4 cup of pasta water. Toss as much sauce into the pasta as you like, and add a little pasta water if you want to create a thinner sauce.
4. Melt the remaining 1 tbsp of butter in a small sauté pan. Add the Panko breadcrumbs and toast until lightly golden brown. Top pasta with the breadcrumbs and the Parmesan and parsley if you wish.
CHEERS TO HAPPY EATING!!!