This creamy gruyere spaghetti for two is a comforting 20-minute dinner for those nights you want to indulge a pasta craving.
I read recently that Anthony Bourdain, famed chef turned TV food personality, has two guilty pleasures: ordering bad hotel room service bolognese and Popeye’s macaroni and cheese. I suspect he has a few more than that, but those two seem sufficient enough to make his foodie followers lose their minds as evidenced by their voluminous amount of tweets on Twitter regarding the matter. As for me, a self-professed Bourdain fangirl, I just shrug because, seriously, who doesn’t have a few food-related guilty pleasures?
Most of mine, which are too numerous and embarrassing to admit here, are of the junk food variety. You know, the ones that don’t require actual cooking because they either arrive cloaked in a greasy paper bag or require only a few minutes in the microwave. But, I do have a few favorites that require a pan and real ingredients and at the top of the list is pasta and cheese.
Creamy Gruyere Spaghetti for Two
In the last year, I’ve recognized the value of small batch recipes because making just one or two servings of something decadent and rich means you don’t have days of leftovers haunting and taunting you. So, these days when a craving hits I make just enough for me with maybe enough leftovers for lunch the next day. And so it was earlier this week that I made an Alfredo/macaroni and cheese hybrid recipe that I’m calling creamy gruyere spaghetti.
I plucked a few things from the fridge (milk, cheese, and butter) and a few things from the pantry (herbes de Provence, pasta, and bread crumbs). I added some fresh spinach at the last minute because a little healthy green is always a good thing. Just a little, though. This is a guilty pleasure, after all. I ended up with a creamy pan of pasta topped with a sprinkling of crispy breadcrumbs. I love the Gruyere cheese/herbes de Provence combo, but here are some other combos that would work great, too, based on what you have on hand…
Other creamy pasta combos:
- Grated Parmesan cheese + Italian seasoning
- Shredded cheddar cheese + chili powder and garlic powder
- Shredded provolone cheese + dried oregano
- Soft gorgonzola + chopped fresh parsley
If you’d like to take this a normal dinner route, add a salad on the side and set the table with a proper plate and napkin. Or, take it the guilty pleasure route like I did and enjoy it straight from the pan while flipping through a magazine. It works either way.
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Creamy Gruyere Spaghetti
Because this recipe serves two, you don’t need to haul out a big pan to make the sauce. An oven-safe 8.5-inch skillet is a perfect size for the sauce. In fact, I used a smaller pot to cook the pasta, too. Just break the spaghetti in half and you don’t need a big stock pot either.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 2 servings
- Category: Main Course
- 1/2 tablespoon dried breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- Ground black pepper
- 5 ounces spaghetti
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup 2% milk
- 1/2 tsp herbs de Provence
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
- 2 cups roughly chopped fresh spinach
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. While you wait for it to boil, combine the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, olive oil, and a few pinches of black pepper in a small bowl. You will use this topping once the pasta and sauce are done. Once the water is boiling cook the spaghetti for about 2 minutes less than what’s listed on the package. It will finish cooking in the sauce.
- While the pasta boils, make the sauce. First, melt the butter in an oven-safe pan over medium heat. Once frothy, add the flour and stir with a spatula to combine. Cook the paste for a minute or so adjusting the heat, if needed, so the butter doesn’t brown too quickly). Switch to a whisk and slowly add the milk to the pan whisking continuously. Be sure to monitor the heat – you don’t want the milk to boil otherwise it will cause the sauce to break. Add the herbs and salt and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the cheese and stir until it’s melted. Add the spinach and stir until it wilts into the sauce.
- Add the cooked spaghetti to the pan and stir to coat it in the sauce. Sprinkle the parmesan breadcrumbs over the top of the pasta. Turn on the broiler and pop the pan under it for a couple of minutes, or until the breadcrumbs are crispy.
- Calories: 735
- Fat: 37.8g
- Carbohydrates: 60.4g
- Fiber: 2.9g
- Protein: 38.9g