everyday spectechols

gardening. cooking. everyday echols family spectacles.

fettuccine with veggies in a bechamel sauce

I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with white sauces.  They sound so good in theory, but more often than not, they’re bland, heavy, and could potentially give your heart palpitations… and not in a good way.

So when I embarked on fulfilling a strong but rare fettuccine alfredo craving, my hopes weren’t high.  However, I was pleasantly surprised by what I concocted so thought I’d share it with y’all :)

Feel free to melt a cheese like gouda or gruyere in to the finished bechamel sauce if you/ the children who you’re praying will eat what you made for dinner without complaint don’t mind the extra calories and want more of a “mac-and-cheese” feel.  Switch up the veggies to use what you have/ what’s in season and/or leave out the chicken.  Truly, it’s hard to go wrong with this one.

Oh and a real quick PSA – I wanted to let everyone know that this is the last “daily” post I’ll be making – from now on expect to hear from everyday spectechols more on an every-few-days basis :)  I feel like I finally have enough content up in all the areas of the site to allow me to slow the roll a bit – WOO HOO!!!  Hope you are finding it helpful/ slightly entertaining – I know I’m having a blast with you guys :)

Fettuccine with Veggies in a Bechamel Sauce
Bechamel recipe based on this recipe from Williams-Sonoma
Start-to-finish – 30 minutes
Serves 4

Ingredients
2 quarter-sized rounds of fettuccine (penne would work also)
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil and more as needed
1 chicken breast, diced (optional)
6 oz mushrooms, sliced
2 handfuls fresh spinach, chopped
1 1/2 cups frozen broccoli, unthawed
salt
pepper
lemon juice from 1/2 a lemon
1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
3/4 cup parmesan, shredded

sauce…
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
2 cups milk, warmed
salt
pepper

Instructions
1) Cook pasta as instructed.

2) While pasta is cooking, add oil, onion, garlic, and chicken (if using) to a large skillet over medium heat.  Saute ~ 5 minutes then add mushrooms, spinach, and broccoli to skillet.  Saute together ~ 10 more minutes until veggies are soft and chicken is thoroughly cooked.

3) While veggies and chicken are sauteing , make sauce…
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Once melted, add flour, paprika, and garlic and stir to combine.  Reduce heat to low and gradually add warmed milk, stirring until well combined after each addition so that no lumps form.  Once all the milk has been added, season with salt and pepper.  Increase heat to medium and continue to stir until sauce thickens.

4) At this point your pasta, veggies and chicken, and sauce should all be finished.  Combine pasta, veggies and chicken, sauce, parmesan, and chopped basil in a large serving bowl.  Toss to combine and enjoy :)

Seasonal Variations
Summer – Add/ substitute in some fresh zucchini, tomatoes, or eggplant.

Fall
 – Bell peppers are a natural, easy addition to this dish.   Also broccoli is a Fall veggie so sub in fresh broccoli for the frozen if you can.

Winter
 – Try adding some sweet baked, cubed squash cause I’m thinking it would be pretty great in this.

Spring
 – Change up the greens and sub in some roasted asparagus – yum!

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