But when I'm cleaning out the fridge and need to get rid of leftovers and/or odds and ends of things that don't merit their own dishes, I turn to pasta. But I do it the slutty way.
* Use an egg noodle, like pappardelle. Much firmer structure, more protein, more flavor.
* Make an interesting sauce. If you come at me with some pedestrian red sauce or jarred 'alfredo' sauce, I'm going to come at you with a sock filled with hot pennies and start swingin'. Ahem.
* Cook your meat separately. This will not only keep you from overcooking it in your sauce, but you can also infuse it with aromatics like garlic and rosemary. Simply keep the cooked protein warm with your other add-ins just before serving.
Without further ado, here's what I made for dinner last night:
Rosemary Chicken Pasta with Bacon, Mushrooms and Goat Cheese Sauce
Enough chicken for two people
Rosemary, salt and pepper
2 slices bacon, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
Half big log or whole small log goat cheese
Half an onion, chopped
Couple handfuls brown mushrooms (use the white ones and be SCORNED!)
Tablespoon bacon fat (if you don't have a ramekin of this in your fridge already, get on it!)
Season the chicken with the rosemary, salt and pepper. Add it to a pan with the bacon (this will provide fat and flavor). Cook, covered, as long as you need it to be *just* cooked (I don't know what sort of chicken you're using, much less the size of the pieces - you know how to cook chicken, I'm sure).
In a small saucepan, melt the butter, then stir in the flour to dissolve on low/medium. Add a couple glugs of milk and whisk to combine, then a bit more until smooth. Add your goat cheese and let it melt. Add more milk if it's too thick. Add more cheese if it's too thin.
Throw your onion and mushrooms into a pot with the bacon fat and cook until they're the way you like them. Add your cooked protein, cover, and turn off the heat.
Boil and drain your noodles (&*(%*^!, I can't believe I'm telling you to do this), then add the cheese sauce and top with the onions, mushrooms and chicken. Slurp it up, sluts!