12 Sep

Last night I made the perfect pasta. No lies! It was IN-CREDIBLE!!!! I know I have raved about this cookbook before, but let me do so again: “Way to Cook Vegetarian” is THE best cookbook I have. The recipes are healthy, vegetarian (obviously), not too difficult but still come out gourmet and most importantly – delicious! Zach had picked out a recipe for Creamy Rigatoni with Gruyere and Brie last weekend and Wednesday was the perfect night to make it. It required no prep ahead of time but I was still able to make it in under 20 minutes after spin class.

Half of the recipe was just cooking up the rigatoni noodles in the usual way of boiling water and salt, though it is important to check your noodles constantly so they get cooked just right. I like to drain them once they have lost that chew but still have bite to them before they get to the too-soft-and-soggy stage. The other part of the recipe was not difficult per say, but it did require perfect attention. Another great thing about this cookbook is that it often has tutorials/tricks that correspond with your recipe to teach you how to perfect something. This time there was a full page on making the ultimate cheese sauce and I followed it to a T and am in love!


The first step was making a slurry. This is simply flour whisked with milk until perfectly smooth. It is crucial that there are no lumps! The recipe called for reduced fat 2% but I, true to form, used unsweetened almond milk to make it even lighter. Since I did this I used slightly less milk than it called for since I know that almond milk is thinner than even the reduced fat 2%.

After I had beat my slurry to death to make it lump free over medium heat in a saucepan, I gradually added the rest of the milk that it called for. As I was adding milk I was whisking constantly and slowly bringing to a boil. Once it reached boiling point I kept it there for two minutes still whisking (good arm workout!) to keep from clumping or scorching. After this I stirred in the S+P and butter until melted and immediately removed from heat. I let it sit until it was slightly under 155 degrees. The temperature is vital because if it is too hot when you add your cheese then it will burn and it if it is too cool the cheese will not melt fast enough and will lump. When it was just the right temperature I added my brie (rind removed) and my finely grated gruyere. It is important to have thick cheeses such as gruyere or cheddar thinly grated because they melt slowly as it is and if they are too thick they will not melt at the proper rate. I tossed the cooked rigatoni in the sauce and it was amazing!


Zach and I both were thrilled and thought it better than restaurant quality! The consistency of the cheese sauce was absolutely perfect! The pasta could have used so many different add-ins to ramp it up, I am thinking mushrooms or broccoli, Zach was thinking bacon… 🙂 Now that I know how to make the perfect cheese sauce, I imagine this would work well for any pasta/cheese combination! I think it would make an amazingly creamy mac and cheese if I used elbow macaroni and perhaps a cheddar/american blend!


As you can tell, I was over the moon for this dinner. 🙂 Spin class was great too! I did 24.6 miles, 74 minutes and 439 calories. Then Zach and I got to spend some good quality time together which was nice since we are so busy lately!!

Spin + morning gazelle puts me at 925.5 miles.




  1. A PAINTING, A BIRTHDAY AND PEPPERMINT PIE! | Eat for Health, Eat for Fun - December 9, 2013

    […] did a wine tasting at a local event, played cards at our house, fixed a delicious version of this pasta (this time with fontina + cheddar cheese), watched some of our shows and turned in early! Like I […]

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