A cheesy cream sauce makes me happy. It is the ultimate comfort food in my opinion. Not only that, this cream sauce is also the perfect Tiny Kitchen Big Taste recipe because it’s 1) quick, 2) inexpensive and 3) so tasty!
It Could Not Be Quicker
When I say this recipe is quick and easy, it’s no lie! Literally, it will take you about the same amount of time to boil your pasta as it does to make the sauce…less than ten minutes. But, if you’re feeling a little uncertain about timing your pasta to be ready at the right time, just make it before you start the sauce. No problem! As an added benefit, you can even use the same pot you used to boil your pasta to make the sauce. Boom…only one pan that you have to clean now.
About ten minutes is all it will take to make this rich and creamy sauce. Essentially, we’re cooking out some of the water in the cream; that is, we’re reducing it. When you hear the word “reduction,” that’s all it is…cooking off some of the water. The end result is that whatever liquid you’re cooking—in this case, cream—will start to thicken up. That’s exactly what we’re looking for.
Keep stirring. As it starts to thicken, you can turn down the heat and add the pasta. In about 30 seconds, the pasta will be up to temperature and some of the sauce will start to be absorbed by the pasta.
Turn off the heat, stir in your Parmesan Cheese and you’ve got yourself a fantastic Pasta and Cream Sauce. You can add a touch of black pepper if you like…and I do!
You Might Hold on the Salt.
This is one sauce where I make sure to try it before I salt it. There are a couple of reasons for that.
First, when you prepare your pasta, you’re going to heavily salt the water. So, you’ll get some salt from the pasta, itself, especially if it is a stuffed pasta in which the filling probably has some salt added too.
Second, the Parmesan Cheese adds some saltiness. By no means is it overly salty, but generally speaking, it adds the perfect amount without need to add more.
What kind of Parmesan Cheese
So what kind of Parmesan Cheese should you use? If you want the best of the best, get Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese. Yes, it is more expensive. Yes, in this case, it is worth it.When is it “worth it”? It’s kind of like a mixed drink, when you’re deciding on whether to order a “well” drink or a “call” drink. In the bartending world, when you order a “well drink,” you’re ordering the house liquor, usually a less expensive brand. When you order a “call drink,” you’re essentially calling out the name of a brand liquor, like Belvedere, Grey Goose, Absolut or Skyy Vodka.
When you’re adding a lot of fruit juices or sugar or things that might disguise the flavor of the alcohol that you’re having in your cocktail—for example, a Moscow Mule with vodka, lime juice and ginger beer—the well will be just fine! If the main part of your drink is the alcohol—like a vodka martini, then you want a good-tasting vodka and you might spring for the call.
Similarly, when it comes to parmesan cheese, if you’re sprinkling it on a pizza with lots of toppings where it is mixing with a lot of different flavors, regular parmesan cheese will work just fine. When it is one of two ingredients in a sauce, I say spring for the best, Parmigiano Reggiano!
Think of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese as the name brand parmesan cheese. More than just a name brand, though, it is made according to strict guidelines, including that the only ingredients in this cheese shall be: cow’s milk, salt and calf rennet.
If you’re curious about the specs, which are specific even to where the cows can come from and what they can eat, you can click on this document from the Official Journal of the EU that talks of the requirements for cheese to be labeled Parmigiano Reggiano cheese:
A little goes a long way and you can definitely taste the difference. The taste is richer, bolder and it has these great little crystals that form in the cheese, which is the sign of a well-aged cheese. Those crystals are actually tyrosine, an amino acid that forms into little crystal-like clusters as you age the cheese.
So What Kind of Pasta?This sauce is great with any kind of pasta. Spaghetti, great! Angel Hair, cool! Fettuccini, love it! You can’t go wrong with any kind.
I do, however, love to use stuffed pastas in a cream sauce like this. Because of the simplicity of the sauce, you can happily incorporate any kind of stuffed pasta. Ravioli, cappelletti, tortellini, tortelloni…you name it…they all work great! I love this cream sauce with a lobster ravioli or a sausage stuffed tortellini. I’ve also seen some great kale and cheese stuffed pasta that would work great for vegetarians.
Perfect for a Friday Night
This, to me, is the quintessential Friday night meal. After a long week of work, the last thing you want to do on a Friday night is get stuck in the kitchen. This one can be made in no time flat, using one pot…and the result is a rich, creamy and flavorful pasta that will help you forget the troubles of the week. Doesn’t get better than that! What do you think?
Can’t wait for you to try it and let us know your favorite stuffed pasta! As always, I love to see your creations! Tag us in a pic on Instagram: @tinykitchenTV!
The Perfect Cream Sauce
SO WHAT YOU'RE GONNA NEED IS:
- Cook Pasta according to package directions.
- In a Frying Pan over medium heat, add Heavy Cream.
- Continue to stir until it reduces and starts to thicken.
- Turn heat to medium-low and add pasta to the sauce. Cook for about 30 seconds, until the cream coats the pasta.
- Turn off heat, add Parmesan Cheese. Stir until it melts.
- Add pepper (optional). Taste if it needs salt and add a pinch if it does (Note: depending on the Parmesan Cheese you use, sometimes it adds enough saltiness to the sauce)