I must admit, though it’s probably evident to all those who actually know me, I have an (some might say) obsession with pasta in cream sauce. My eyes automatically search out Fettuccine Alfredo, bypassing the rest of the menu without a second thought – I even prefer pizza with that delicious, creamy white sauce in place of oh-so-prosaic tomato sauce. I know one of my first meals when I return home in 2011 will be to one of my favorite neighborhood restaurant to positively devour the chicken, artichoke pizza with Alfredo sauce.
One of the things that I’ve had the hardest time finding in Uganda, even in the capital city, Kampala, is good pasta in cream sauce. The only place I’ve even seen a pasta in a cream sauce is in the magical, Walmart-like shopping center Garden City. And the macaroni and cheese at New York Kitchen probably only tasted amazing since we’ve been in Uganda, without good Italian food, for many months now.
Now that I’ve been going through pasta-in-cream-sauce withdraws for four months now, I decided to make my way down to the dukka (small neighborhood store) for a pint of milk and a small bag of wheat flour. Best purchase of the week.
While I used milk, this recipe would be greatly improved with cream to replace the milk. Also, the milk here tastes weird…
Pasta with fresh peas and haricots verts in a white sauce
Clam-shaped pasta (dried)
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 small onion, minced
One-half pint of milk (I used whole milk, as that’s all which is available in Uganda)
Juice of half a lemon
Cheese (In the states I like a mixture of paramsean, provolone, and swiss, but here I used some strange cheese-product spread….it worked well enough)
Break the ends off the green beans and break them into small pieces about 1 inch long. Sort the fresh peas, throwing out any non-pea materials and bad peas. In a large pot, add the green beans and peas to boiling water, allowing them to cook until nearly done. Add the pasta and cook until both the pasta and the green beans and peas are well cooked.
Meanwhile, melt the butter and sauté the minced garlic and onion until translucent, not allowing them to turn brown. Add the flour and make a roux. When the roux is cooked, add the milk and bring to a light boil. Let the sauce boil until thickened. Add juice of half a lemon, cheese, salt, pepper, parsley, thyme, and a small pinch of chili powder.
When both the pasta mixture and the sauce are finished, drain the pasta mixture and add to the sauce, stirring to coat.
Serve and enjoy.