You should be ashamed of yourself. I saw you eyeing the pasta on that Olive Garden commercial with hungry eyes. You know it’s not delicious. You know it wasn’t actually created in a Tuscan cooking school with Michelin star winning chefs. Most importantly, you know you can’t trust any place that thinks variety in ingredients is a simple choice between chicken in cream sauce or sausage in tomato cream sauce. For shame, OG, for shame!
Have I ever led you astray? This is absolutely no exception – very limited work with glorious results, and the taste is a celebration of spring. Camembert kicks alfredo on its ass in a meltingly luscious sauce. Asparagus spears and tender peas enliven the dish as a call to green goodness. It’s so good, it’s stupid. And in the few minutes it takes to make this a reality, you’ll be able to crack open a serious bottle of wine, warm some ciabatta in lieu of breadsticks, toss a bright green salad (or whip up a delicious soup – how about some ribollita?) and take a true trip to Bell’Italia. You are too damn cool to be eating mediocre food, and this is certain.
Pasta with Camembert, Asparagus and Peas
2 small wheels (or 3 large wedges) of camembert cheese
3 tbs. of butter
3 tbs. of flour
3 c. of whole milk
1/4 tsp. of white pepper
1/2 tsp. of salt
pinch of garlic powder
1 lb. of pasta (I like campagnelle or farfalle for this)
1 lb. of asparagus, just the tips and stalks reserved for another use
1 c. of frozen peas
1 bunch of chives, snipped
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. While the water is warming, make your sauce. Cut the rinds off of the camembert (and save for another use – makes a great panini filling) and set aside. In a sauce pan, melt the butter and whisk in the flour. Add the milk in dribs and drabs, whisking the whole time to prevent lumps from forming. Whisk in pepper, salt, garlic powder and camembert, stirring until all is melted. Keep warm.
Add your pasta to the boiling water and salt heavily. Let cook according to the package directions and in the last minute of cooking, toss in the asparagus spears and peas. Once the pasta is fully cooked and al dente, drain and return to the pot and place back on the warm burner. Stir in the sauce and the chives. Serve with grated cheese and freshly cracked pepper.