To retrospect the year, the earlier part of the year has been quite eventful on personal and professional front. Firstly, I switched my job from what was right next door to travelling for hours in distance, yet I am in a sense of great satisfaction, getting what I expected out of my job. Then, as my daughter turned one this March, she moved out from her infant phase to being a high energy, active toddler which has been quite a welcome progress. That reasons why I have been quite lenient in blogging this year, despite taking time off in late evenings to keep my blog going. Strangely, I realized that I have been better than the last year where I had just about 37 posts and this year I crossed 40+ posts. Somewhere in February, I took a huge step when I moved out of blogspot to my own domain, but that was a wise decision, because I still love cooking, sharing, writing, clicking and blogging and all that’s associated with it! Sadly I missed out on many invites to media and blogger events that kept flooding my mailbox. But I realize I cannot stuff myself more than what I can take. So that’s okay.
This time of the year is when most people take a sabbatical, planning week long holidays or partying. What are your plans? The spirits are high, mood is warm and light and one inevitably tunes to being merry as the magical charm of New year steeps in. Hope you too enjoy these festive days with your families and friends and welcome the New Year with new hopes, dreams and loads of prosperity. In absolute desire to bid adieu to this year, here’s a quick pasta dish, Fusilli in Cheese Sauce I’m sharing with you. It’s nothing different than the traditional mac and cheese we’ve grown up eating. But yet, I would never want to replace the macaroni with any other kinds of pasta if I am making these. I always stock macaroni, but on odd days like this one, I ran out of macaroni and went ahead with fusilli. Here I did use fusilli, so I call it as Fusilli in Cheese Sauce, since Mac and Cheese, is Mac and Cheese and nothing else!
Fusilli in Cheese Sauce
500ml regular milk
1 onion, peeled and quartered
1 garlic clove
1 bay leaf
200g macaroni (1 pack)
1 tbsp. butter
4 tbsp. plain flour (30gm)
125g cheddar cheese, grated
Cook the fusilli pasta in rolling boiling water with salt till its al dente. This will take about 10 mins or so. Drain out the water and then run the pasta under cold water to stop the pasta from cooking further. This also helps in keeping the pasta separate. Add a dash of olive oil, toss well and set aside.
Cut onion into quarters. In a milk pan, heat the milk along with onion, garlic and bay leaf until almost boiling. Remove from the heat, leave covered to infuse for 10 mins, then strain. Reserve the onion and garlic and use them as paste in other gravy dishes.
In a wide mouthed pan, melt butter. Add flour and cook stirring constantly for about a min on medium low heat. This is called as roux and is the base for thickeners. Pour the warm infused milk into the roux until smooth. Simmer for few mins, stirring often, until the sauce has thickened. The sauce is done when its thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Check by running your finger through the sauce on a spoon and it should leave a trail. Remove the pan from the heat, then add the cheddar cheese. Then stir until the cheese has melted. Season well with salt and pepper. Serve hot.