Pasta with Creamy Smoked Paprika Sauce

All the houseguests are gone, and our home seems so quiet.  We had a lovely weekend; full of memorable firsts.  First visits, first subway ride to Chinatown, first golf lesson in the backyard, first attempt at true housebunny-hood, first time we lost the bunny…

You know, all those things you go through as new homeowners.  What, you telling me you never lost track of your bunny after opening the ENTIRE first floor to her? Well, somehow she found a way to get upstairs and I found her sniffing around the laundry basket in our bedroom.

Silly rabbit, upstairs is for people.  For the most part though, she’s taken to her new life quite well.  My mom commented on how social she is.  While she won’t always let you pet her or pick her up, she won’t run away from new people, and lounged about in the living room with us while we watched golf.

And then I attempted to teach Luke how to play golf.  But that’s a story for a different day.  Let me tell you about this pasta.  As you may know, I love pasta, noodles and all things long, thin and starchy.  I also happen to love smoked paprika and roasted garlic.  I think you know where this is going.

This pasta is pretty easy to throw together and happens to taste amazing.  I used angel hair pasta, but you can use any kind of long pasta, just keep in mind that the thinner the pasta, the more you need to use to soak up the sauce.  I ended up using almost an entire pound of pasta.  Leftovers are always welcome.

Pasta with Creamy Smoked Paprika Sauce

Adapted from Bev Cooks

Makes about 4 servings (or more with thinner pasta)

1 head garlic with the end chopped off
1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 Tbsp flour
¼ cup dry white wine
1 tsp honey
1 cup milk
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika
½ pound long pasta (more for a thinner pasta like angel hair)
¼ cup chopped parsley

 fresh parmesan cheese for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Place the garlic head in a small sheet of aluminum foil. Drizzle with oil and a tiny pinch of salt. Wrap up and roast 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once the bubbling slows, whisk in the flour. Once fully combined, pour in the wine and whisk for about 30 seconds.  Add the honey and whisk another 10 seconds. Pour in the milk and slowly whisk until it thickens into a nice cream sauce, about 2 minutes. Add the cayenne, smoked paprika, a small pinch of salt and pepper; stir to combine.

Transfer sauce to a small food processor. Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves into the sauce. They should just slide out of their skins. Blitz the sauce until well combined. Transfer back to saucepan to keep warm and season to taste.

In the meantime, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente. Drain all but about 1/3 cup pasta water and return to pot. Pour the cream sauce over the pasta and toss to coat. If it’s too thick, add some pasta water to thin the sauce to your desired consistency.

Serve pasta garnished with chopped parsley and fresh parmesan.

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