Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Celebrating Paddington's Creator with a Pasta Dish

Next to Winne-the- Pooh, Paddington Bear holds a soft spot in my heart. One is never too old to have kinship with these bears. With that being said, I could not let the day go by without acknowledging Paddington Bear's creator, Michael Bond's 90 th birthday.
Thomas Michael Bond, was born January 13, 1926. He is an English author, most celebrated for his Paddington Bear Series. Bond was awarded for his literary contributions, a CBE medal (national order of chivarly) in the Queen's Birthday Honours 2015. He lives not far from Paddington Station the place that inspired his Paddington stories. 

Paddington Bear is a fictional character in children's literature. He first appeared on October 13, 1958 and has featured in more than twenty books written by Michael Bond and illustrated by Peggy Fortnum and other artists. The friendly bear from deepest, darkest Peru with his old hat, battered suitcase (complete with a secret compartment, enabling it to hold more items than it would at first appear), duffle coat and love of marmalade has become a classic character in children's literature. Paddington books have been translated into 30 languages across 70 titles and sold more than 30 million copies worldwide.

Penne with Tomato Cream Sauce and Wilted Spinach
Cook notes: This easy one pan meal with a a creamy Parmesan sauce is sure to be a family favorite. It is one of my favorite dishes to serve for company. The recipe serves four. 
  • 1-1/2 cups dried penne, tri-colored
  • 1-1/2 cups cooked and crumbled Italian Sausage or Smoked Andouille Chicken Sausage 
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 cup diced sweet onions
Cream Sauce
  • 2 TB. butter
  • 2 TB. flour 
  • 1 cup chicken broth-low fat less sodium 
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup julienned sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, drained, patted dry with a paper towel and diced. This product can be found in produce. 
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ tsp. each dried oregano and basil
  • 1 TB parsley flakes
  • dash red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 TB. dry white wine
  • 2 handfuls of baby spinach leaves with stems removed 
  • Bring a pan of salted water to a boil, add in dried penne. Cook until al dente, drain and rinse. Set aside.
  • In large skillet heat 1 TB. olive oil, saute onion and garlic about 2 minutes on medium low heat. Stir frequently so it doesn’t overbrown. 
  • Add in 2 TB. butter, melt and then whisk in 2 TB. flour. Blend and cook 1 minute.
  • Whisk in chicken broth and continue whisking until broth is incorporated with flour mixture about 1-2 minutes. 
  • Stir in cream, cooked meat, pasta, spices, sun-dried tomatoes and Parmesan cheese. Whisk to blend and cook until thickened on medium low about 2 minutes. Stir in wine. Cook 2 minutes longer. 
  • Serve immediately and grate Parmesan cheese over top of the dish. 
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  1. This is one of my absolute favorite recipes, which I think I originally found here. Except mine does not have spinach in it.

  2. Adding tri colored penne pasta makes the dish more colorful and a bit more healthier with spinach. Good way to get your veggies!