When it comes to BBQ, we tend to focus on the meat or protein we’re slapping on the grill and firing until just right. But the truth is, the sides you serve with that juicy steak or lemon-scented salmon are often just as important. Think of your sides as backup performers: they play a supporting role for the star of the show.
Here at FRESH, we’re currently loving this recipe for a pizza-inspired pasta. Sound weird? It’s not. The ingredients in a Margherita pizza are actually very pasta-sauce friendly: cheese, tomato, basil. We recommend making a big batch of this vegetarian friendly pasta for your next BBQ. The real beauty? It works double duty. Serve it as a side to the carnivores and as a main course to vegetarian-minded guests.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 13 minutes
12 oz (375 g) penne pasta
2 tbsp (30 mL) butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) dried thyme
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1/4 tsp (1 mL) hot pepper flakes
2 tbsp (30 mL) all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups (625 mL) milk
2 cups (500 mL) cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 cup (125 mL) grated Canadian Parmesan
12 1-inch (2.5 cm) mini Canadian Bocconcini
1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
Canadian Parmesan, for serving
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta for about 11 min or until al dente, or according to package directions.
Meanwhile, in a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic, thyme, salt and hot pepper flakes. Cook 1 min. Sprinkle with flour; cook, whisking for 1 min. Gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Whisk for 3 to 5 min or until smooth and thickened. Stir in tomatoes and Parmesan.
Drain pasta and return to pot. Pour in sauce; toss, stirring 1 to 2 min over medium heat to coat pasta. Stir in Bocconcini, basil and salt to taste, if needed. Serve with grated Parmesan.
Bocconcini come in different sizes, so if you need to cut the balls, the pieces should be about 3/4 inch (2 cm) in size.
Pizza Toppings = Instant Add-ins
Add some of your favourite pizza toppings to the sauce, such as pepperoni, olives or sun-dried tomatoes.
*This recipe is courtesy of www.dairygoodness.ca