Creamy Pasta Risotto

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I don't think I've told you this yet, but I really love my comfort food.  I prefer my comfort in the form of cheese or chocolate.  A hot gooey brownie or a big bowl of mac and cheese has been known to turn my frown upside down on more than one occasion.

This Creamy Pasta Risotto is comfort food at its finest.  It's a bit more sophisticated than mac and cheese, a lot easier than a true risotto, and a guaranteed feel-better kind of dish.  And even though I'm in the middle of a string of good days right now - the kind that have me walking around with a mile wide smile - I still can't resist this pasta's cheesy charm.



This is an easy recipe to dress up or down too.  I make it for the kids for lunch and they love it.  I make it for friends for dinner and they love it too.  And when you start thinking of add-ins, the possibilities are endless.  Here are a few ideas for things that can be easily mixed in to this pasta:
  • bacon
  • butternut squash
  • broccoli
  • sauted mushrooms
  • fresh rosemary or thyme
  • roasted garlic
  • spinach
  • ham
  • leeks


Creamy Pasta Risotto

Ingredients

3 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, diced
6 1/4 cups chicken broth
2 2/3 cup fusilli or tubetti
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
3 oz cream cheese or mascarpone
freshly ground pepper
salt

Directions

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium low heat.  Add diced onion and saute until soft and translucent.  Add broth and bring to a boil over medium high heat.  When water is boiling, add the pasta.  Lower heat and cook pasta at a steady simmer until it has absorbed almost all of the water, approximately 25 minutes.

When there is less than a 1/2 inch of liquid bubbling in the bottom of the pan, pour in the cream.  Keep simmering for another 3 to 5 minutes, or until it thickens slightly.  Stir in the Parmesan and cream cheese.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Remove from heat, cover, and let it rest for 5 to 7 minutes before serving.  Top generously with freshly ground pepper and bread crumbs if desired.  Serves 6.

Adapted from Around my French Table by Dorie Greenspan


What are your favorite comfort foods?
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