As much time as I’ve spent there over the last couple of years with my mom, you’d think I wouldn’t be so surprised. But I still am. How a hospital, a place with a core business model of healing and wellness, can have such awfully unhealthy food is beyond me.
I spent a week eating from bags, boxes, and coin-operated machines. And unless we’re counting Polynesian sauce as a vegetable, there were some days that I’m certain nothing I took a bite of ever grew in any ground.
But as we’re again returning to some sense of normalcy around here, heavy one house guest (hi mom!), I have returned to zoodling everything in sight and making magical melty cheese sauces. And for those who refuse to jump on my still-a-one-girl zoodle bandwagon, they get pasta with their magical melty cheese sauces. Real pasta.
I mentioned before how I’ve been playing with sodium citrate for a few weeks. I took a house favorite, Bacon & Pea Macaroni and Cheese, and gave it a makeover with some creamy brie. The original recipe uses fat-free Greek yogurt, pasta water, and easy-melting cheeses to achieve a nice and creamy sauce.
But today’s recipe? It uses brie, milk, and a 1/2 tsp of that sodium citrate to achieve melty perfection. It’s macaroni and cheese with brie.
Macaroni and Brie. Or at least it would have been if I’d had macaroni and brie. So Bowties & Brie it is! (And I’ll show you the Zoodles & Brie version soon.)
Creamy Brie, Bacon, and Pea Pasta
Make a creamy stovetop macaroni cheese sauce with brie, milk, and a little sodium citrate.
- 12 oz pasta
- 8 oz frozen peas
- 8 oz wheel of brie
- 5 slices of bacon
- 1/2 tsp sodium citrate
- 1/2 cup milk
- Boil pasta in salted water according to package directions. In the last two minutes of cooking, you'll add the peas to heat through.
- While the pasta is cooking, crisp up the bacon (I did it in the microwave) and prepare the brie.
- Use a spoon to scrape the white off the brie and then use a vegetable peeler to go around the edge of the wheel to remove the hardened rind.
- Cut the wheel in 8 wedges and use the peeler to make a quick pass over the top and bottom surfaces (don't try too hard, doesn't need to be perfect - you just want to minimize the hard portions).
- Cut the wedges into cubes.
- Drain the pasta and peas.
- Return the empty pot to the cooktop over medium heat, add the milk and sodium citrate, and stir to mix.
- Add the brie and stir occasionally at first, more frequently when it starts to melt.
- When the sauce is smooth, add the pasta and peas to the pot. Season with salt and pepper.
- If eating immediately, crumble the bacon into the pot. If not (and to prepare for leftovers), crumble the bacon over when serving so it doesn't get mushy.
Yields: 4 servings
Estimated time: 30 minutes