A few weeks ago, I was on a cream cheese craze. I tend to use one particular ingredient over and over again at certain times. The reason for this varies – sometimes I’m really craving that individual food item, and sometimes it’s because I have an abundance of it in my fridge or pantry because I’ve managed to hit a great grocery sale! For this dish, cream cheese was the sale item and I had purchased three packages of it.
A few Saturday’s ago, I needed to make something for dinner that was quick and easy. John.e never says no to pasta, so I grabbed what I needed from the pantry to whip up dinner. But, as luck would have it, I had nothing I needed to make a tomato sauce. I thought of making mac and cheese instead, but that’s a longer process and I really didn’t have the time. Since I knew I had cream cheese and pasta on hand, I decided to make a cream cheese-based pasta sauce.
I always have vegetables on hand – the vegetarian likes to have go-to items that he can grab in a hurry, and he always likes to have zucchini or mushrooms, tomatoes and broccoli, etc., just in case he’s adventurous enough to prepare his version of a veggie frittata. So, I stole his tomatoes and mushrooms to add some freshness and flavour to this dish.
It was such a creamy pasta with just the right amount of saltiness from the cream cheese, and a deep woody/meaty flavour from the sautéed mushrooms. The tomatoes added a bite of freshness and acidity – overall, this pasta dish was a winner!
- 1 450g package spaghetti noodles
- 1 8 ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 large tomatoes, diced
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Parsley for garnish
- Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Being by sautéing the mushrooms in butter. Once browned, remove from pan and set aside.
- Add the olive oil and the onions to the sauté pan and cook until onions are slightly caramelized. Add the minced garlic and sauté for two more minutes.
- While you are preparing the onions, cook the pasta according to the package instructions; drain and set aside.
- Add the softened cream cheese to the onions and garlic. Using a wooden spoon, stir until the cheese is melted.
- Add the milk and stir until the milk and cream cheese are combined. Stir in the salt and pepper.
- Add the mushrooms back to the sauté pan. Add the cooked pasta as well. Toss to combine.
- Once the pasta is well coated and reheated (approximately 2 minutes) add the chopped tomatoes and toss once again.
- Serve immediately.