Guest Blogger P Myers' Love Affair with Pasta
My interest in cooking truly began with my effort to “see” if I could make something that I had the taste for or replicate, with a bit of my own tweaking, something I had eaten before. I feel that cooking can transport you and your senses anywhere. The sound of oil heating, the rhythmic dance of the knife and cutting board, the mingling fragrances that waft in the air and the watering of your mouth because you know something delicious is in the works.
Often times, I’m transported to Italy, a country that remains on my travel list, as it yields pasta. Pasta is undoubtedly an absolute love of mine, so it’s pretty much a mainstay dish served often in my home. The chewiness of the noodles (yes, again with the descriptions), paired with the creaminess or spiciness of a sauce is right up my viccolo (Italian for alley). To me, pasta is a dish where you can experiment with various ingredients and flavors and almost always have a winning combination. One night your palette may desire shrimp and/or chicken and on another night it might crave blackened salmon with salty capers and sundried tomatoes, again, you’re the chef, so your possibilities are plentiful.
In terms of sauces, one of my favorites would hands down, ain’t no doubt about it, be Alfredo sauce. The richness | creaminess of the sauce, paired with the mild sharpness of parmesan cheese and a slight kick of ground pepper with loads of mushrooms and spinach makes my heart glad EVERY TIME. Now, I’ve read that truly authentic Alfredo sauce isn’t made with cream or milk but rather with pasta water, butter, parmesan cheese, salt, and ground pepper. I haven’t tried this version and I’m open to trying it out, but I def. love the addition of cream in the version I make.
In this dish, I decided to use rigatoni noodles, adding lightly seasoned marinated shrimp with chicken sausage alongside my staples of mushrooms and spinach, (for reiteration, just so you’re extremely clear of my LOVE of them) and a bit of chopped onions. Once everything was cooked, I combined all of my ingredients in the pasta pot, saving the spinach for last and then allowing the heat from the pot and ingredients to lightly “cook” the spinach. Mix everything together and get ready to be in pure food heaven.