EZPZ Pasta


Welcome to the seventh copy-pasta transfer of “The Ghetto Cook” series! This installment will be a pretty simple one about making a pasta dish, something many people are probably already familiar with. As a bonus, I will also include how to make a very simple cole slaw that can easily go with any other dish you are making.

Ingredients

As I was laying the stuff out for this pic, I realized that holy sh*t, this actually is a lot of ingredients

Cole Slaw

1 Carrot
1/8 Cabbage*
2 Tbsp Ranch/Mayo
1 tsp Peanut Butter
1 tsp White Granulated Sugar
Salt
Pepper

Pasta (Serves Two or Three)

1 lb package short, non-stringy pasta**
1/2 Large Onion, sliced thin
~2 Cups Frozen Peas
2 Tbsp Butter/Margarine
2 Tbsp Flour
3-4 oz Cheese***
1 can Tuna****
Bacon*****
Salt
Pepper
Garlic/Garlic Salt
Milk

*Can be green/red/mixture of both
**Ideally not spaghetti or linguini or long pastas like that. I used rotinis, feel free to use macaroni, ziti, or a bajillion other short, forkable pastas.
***A good melting cheese preferably. Mozzarella isn’t the greatest but it’s what I had on hand.
****The shitty cheap canned tuna I bought completely disintegrated and made the sauce texture kind of crappy. You may wish to buy higher quality canned tuna or use another source of fish. Pretty much any chunky protein is acceptable, including cubed/stripped chicken, ham, tofurkey, etc.
***** I didn’t have any on hand, but this is highly, highly recommended. Pre-cooked and broken into small pieces.

Procedure

Begin by making the cole slaw. Whisk together ranch/mayo, peanut butter, and sugar until smooth:

Use spoon if psychic, not Asian, or goes by Battle.Net handle Thorzain

Unlike lettuce salads, where it is best to hold off the dressing until just before serving, I prefer my cole slaw to be slightly wilted and the flavor of the dressing to penetrate the cabbage. Shred both carrots and cabbage, and toss them in the dressing. Salt and pepper to taste.

If you don’t have a shredder, you can use a knife. First, slice the carrot lengthwise. Then, slice both halves thinly along a diagonal:

I believe Thorzain would use a spoon for this step too.

For the cabbage, chop thinly along the latitude, like this:

GET TO DA CHOPPA NAOW

The final product:

A bright orange and purple dish, you'd think this was shredded poisonous amazonian tree frog or something similarly less than healthy

Once the salad is tossed (wink wink nudge nudge), set it aside to marinate. Begin on the pasta. Pour about a gallon of water into a large pot, add salt, and turn on the heat.

In another pot, melt two tablespoons of butter at medium heat. Long time readers of TGC may realize where this is going. We’re going to make a roux, just like what we did for broccoli and cheddar soup. Slowly whisk two tablespoons of flour into the melted butter, and push this mixture around the bottom of the pot for a couple of minutes. The mixture should look like yellow sand:

Visually identical to the bane of vaginas everywhere

Sometimes, cooks will cook this mixture until it is brownish and gives off a nutty scent. I won’t be doing this, however, because I am using a white cheese, and this is going to be a white sauce. After a few minutes, slowly whisk in enough milk so that you get a thick, velvety, sauce-like consistency:

The shine is from the butter. No sticky fingers here.

Continue cooking and stirring the mixture, adding in more milk if the sauce becomes too dry. Cook for about 5 minutes, then add in the onions, salt, pepper, and garlic salt. Garlic salt is cheap and keeps for a long time. Use fresh garlic if you have it. Overall, you want the sauce to be slightly on the salty side because it will be used to flavor the pasta, but keep in mind that cheese, canned tuna, and bacon all contain salt, so do not over-season at this point in time.  Cook for another 5 minutes or so.

By now the pasta water should be close to boiling. The timings for this dish are starting to converge. As soon as the water starts boiling, dump your pasta into the pot. Follow the instructions for how long the pasta needs to cook to reach al dente, but cook for 1 minute less than the shown time. Immediately also dump your frozen peas into your sauce. Cook this for another 5 minutes or so, turn the heat down to LOW, then dump the cheese, tuna, and bacon into the sauce:

The PZ part of EZPZ pasta. Yeah, I know you saw that one coming.

Taste the sauce. If it is too bland, now is the time to add salt and pepper before combining with the pasta. Cook the sauce until the pasta is 1 minute away from al dente. Remove pasta from water, and dump the sauce into the pasta. Fold sauce into the pasta and cook everything together for the last minute. Remove from heat, plate, and serve.

The Result

A meal fit for a pauper

4.5 / 5 Nothing spectacular, but still very nourishing and good. In hindsight, I think chicken would be even better suited for this dish, but oh well. Despite the large number of ingredients, overall the dish is quite fast to make, maybe 40 minutes total with plenty of time in between to work on several other dishes if you are multitasking.

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