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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Pasta with Gorgonzola Cream Sauce

What would you choose as your last meal?  Would it be a big, juicy steak with a heaping side of mashed potatoes?  Or maybe a creamy asparagus soup topped with crunchy croutons?  Perhaps you would go for a large cheese pizza with some chicken wings.  Thinking back, I wish I had gone for the pizza and wings, but no, this was my last meal.

No, I'm not dying, but I won't be eating chicken wings any time soon.  Yesterday evening I journeyed to the orthodontists office and had my brand new braces affixed to my teeth.  Yep, I'm thirty years old and I just got my first ever set of braces.

I always thought that I needed that I needed braces when I was little.  It's not that my teeth are crazy out of place, they just need a little rearranging.  When I was in middle school, everyone had braces, it was not uncommon for half of the people sitting at your lunch table to have them.  I was even a little jealous of this one girls braces, I liked the way she talked with them on her teeth.

When I went to my new New Jersey dentist this past fall, he told me something that I didn't really want to hear, that I would need to wear braces for at least a year.  I had just turned thirty the day before and this was not quite the birthday present that I was hoping for.  I made appointments with local orthodontists and went over my options.  In the end, I told myself that 18-24 months in braces was a small time in comparison to the rest of my life with straight teeth, so I scheduled my appointment. 

Tuesday night I cooked boyfriend and I a lovely Valentine's day meal, pasta smothered in a creamy sauce along with crusty bread and a chocolatey dessert.  This would be my last real meal until my braces come off.

Now, with my new ice-clear braces adhered to my teeth, I dust off my smoothie cookbooks, buy cans of oatmeal and jars of arborio rice.  I'm ready to perfect my egg-making skills and become an expert in panna cotta preparation.  I'm also reaching out to all of you, you former wearers of braces, for your favorite food options!  Help me out in my time of need!

One Year Ago: English Muffins

Pasta with Gorgonzola Cream Sauce
A Wilde Original

1 lb farfalle pasta
1/2 lb chicken breast tenders
2 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1 cup skim milk
1/2 cup gorgonzola cheese
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
3 cups spinach

Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil.  Cook pasta according to package directions, until al dente.

Place chicken in a zip-top bag and add olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme.  Smoosh around until chicken is coated in oil and spices.  Grill on your outdoor grill or stovetop grill pan until cooked through.  Remove to a cutting board and allow to sit for ten minutes before cutting into pite-sized pieces.

While pasta is cooking, melt butter over medium-low heat.  Add flour and stir to combine with the butter.  Stir and cook for 2 minutes.  Whisk in milk and cook over medium-low heat until the mixture thickens.  Add cheeses and whisk until smooth.

Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water.  Return pasta to the pot and add chicken, cream sauce and spinach.  Stir to coat and add a little of the pasta water to loosen up the mixture.  Top with the lid and heat over medium-low heat until spinach wilts.  Spoon out a large bowl for yourself and your favorite person!
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