The One Where There Was Too Much Sauce

I love the Food Network. Growing up with no TV to speak of, I never got into the routine of Saturday morning cartoons (I was being carted off to Polish school at 8 on Saturdays anyways, so no time for anything in he mornings besides eating breakfast), I never came home after school to watch a favourite show, and never learned to get frustrated with reruns. It wasn’t until I got married that I actually sat down, flipped through the channels we had (basic cable and SuperChannel aren’t much by today’s standards, but it was amazing compared to the three or four channels I was used to!) that I began to understand why people watched TV.

Now, when I say I grew up without TV I mean I almost did. We had a TV… It was from the 1980’s. You know, the fake wooden side panelling, crappy coloured, massive and blurry screen, no remote to speak of but had two giant, silver dials…  This is what it looked like. That was the TV I grew up with until it broke right before we moved in 2000. About a year later it was replaced by a small, more modern TV, but alas, we still had no cable. Then when I started dating my husband and going over to his place for dinner, I was introduced to the amazing world of cable, DVRs, On Demand programming and more! That was also when I became aware of TV seasons being out on DVD (I lived under a rock as a kid, I know) and one of the first shows we began to watch on DVD was Friends; I think he figured it would be good for me to understand the millions of references that the show has brought about. Also, I couldn’t deal with anything with violence or scary stuff (I’m still pretty bad), so our viewing options were very limited.

When we moved after getting married, our apartment came with basic digital cable, and I don’t think I’ll ever forget sitting down and turning on our TV for the first time. I didn’t even know how to get to the guide! I finally managed to find the Food Network… And I’ve been watching it periodically ever since.

One star who’s show I’ve never seen but have heard a ton about is Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman. I know a bit about her show, I know she’s quite popular, and I’ve seen a TON of pins with her recipes, but I have never seen a single episode of hers or gone to visit her blog. So when I happened upon a pin of her recipe for Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce I decided to try it out.

The recipe was for 8 servings, but with only 2 solid-food eating humans in the house, we decided to half her recipe. I usually don’t make modifications to a recipe until I’ve tried the original at least once, but 1.5 lbs of pasta is waaaaaaay too much for us, even if we want leftovers. So, did you wanna know what happened?

Yield:

  • Original Yield: 8 servings
  • Actual Yield: half of the recipe, pasta-wise, made 4 servings, but half of the sauce yielded 8 servings

Prep Time:

  • Original Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Actual Prep Time: 15 minutes (that’s pretty close… I blame my crappy garlic mincing skills)

Cook Time:

  • Original Cook Time: 25 minutes (although in the body of the recipe Ree mentions cooking the sauce 25-30 minutes, so I think this should have said 30)
  • Actual Cook Time: 30 minutes (includes adding the cheese in, adding the cooked pasta to the sauce, etc)

Notes or comments from the author:

  • Ree’s recipe has the pasta cooking almost right as the sauce is being cooked… My fettuccine has a cook time of 7 minutes, so even with boiling the water, I ended up with the pasta just sitting there getting cold. I suggest cooking the pasta about half way through cooking the sauce, that way you have enough time to drain the pasta before the sauce finishes.
  • The amount of sauce this recipe makes is crazy. I admit I’m not the kind of person that drenches their pasta in sauce, but I’m by no means stingy, either. We had quite saucy pasta, and ended up with so much leftover sauce that it actually made leftovers a second time and lunch for two the following day. So unless you like your sauce to be more of a soup, I’d make less of it. Or you could freeze it, I suppose. Whatever works.

  

Verdict: Success (with modifications)! The sauce was delicious! I almost licked my bowl clean, it was that good. The one issue, though, was the amount of sauce! Now, don’t get me wrong… this sauce is definitely something to make again… Next time, though, I think I’ll either make a quarter of the sauce required for half of the pasta or freeze the extra sauce for another meal.

 Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce 

**Please note, the recipe for Pasta in Tomato Cream Sauce is in no way mine. The views and experiences above are mine and not endorsed/influenced by Ree Drummond/The Pioneer Woman or any other third party.

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