Let me start by saying, I don’t indulge like this every day. There is no way I would allow myself to include half a tub of cream cheese in a recipe more than once a month or so, even if it is the light stuff.
However, I don’t see anything wrong with doing it once in a while. And when you do… oh, it’s glorious.
(do I sound like I’m about to burst into song yet? Because I’ll be honest, I’m pretty close)
I’ll talk you through it: spaghetti, garlic, and a creamy, cheesy sauce. That alone would convince me a million times over.
But then you add a whole roasted portobello and let its juices run all the way through the spaghetti… literal yum.
Of course, you could serve the creamy spaghetti without the mushroom if you’re not a fan, but the way the juices combine with the creamy sauce really does add a whole new level of deliciousness to this meal. Plus it’s a vegetable (sort of), so it totally counteracts the obscene amounts of dairy.
(please don’t correct me on this. Just let me have this one)
I kind of love the fact that this dish looks really elegant on the plate, which is a ridiculous contrast to the way you’ll probably look while eating this. From the first bite, you’ll get so carried away that you’ll give up any illusions of self-restraint. I’m talking elbows out, strings of spaghetti flying everywhere, enormous forkfuls of cheesy spaghetti… it’s probably best to eat this one in private.
- 2 portobello mushrooms
- 1tbsp oil
- Black pepper
- 130g spaghetti
- 1tbsp butter
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 150g cream cheese (I used light)
- 2tbsp milk
- 30g vegetarian parmesan-style cheese, finely grated
- Black pepper
- 3tbsp fresh chives, chopped
- Heat the oven to 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F). Place the mushrooms in a baking dish open side down, and drizzle with a small amount of oil. Season with salt and pepper, and roast for around 25 minutes, until soft and juicy.
- When the mushrooms have been in the oven for around 10 minutes, begin to make the creamy garlic spaghetti. Boil the pasta until al dente, around 10 minutes.
- While the pasta is boiling, melt the butter in a large frying pan, and add the garlic. Cook over a fairly low heat for a few minutes, until fragrant. Then add the cream cheese and milk, and cook gently, stirring regularly, until the cheese has melted to produce a smooth sauce. Add the parmesan and season with salt and plenty of black pepper.
- When the pasta is ready, drain it, retaining a few tablespoons of the liquid. Add the pasta to the sauce along with the retained liquid - the exact amount depends on your desired consistency, but around 6tbsp will probably be good. Gently mix the pasta into the sauce, adding the chopped chives (I find it easiest to use tongs to toss pasta in sauce).
- When the mushrooms are cooked, drain any liquid they have released into the pasta, and chop the mushrooms into slices. Serve on top of the pasta with more chives if desired.