Foodie Friday Creamy Roasted Garlic Sauce
Lower-fat "creamy" roasted garlic sauce can be used in pasta dishes like tortellini, over beef or salmon or tossed with vegetables.
Creamy Roasted Garlic Sauce (prep. Time 1 hour)
1 large bulb of garlic
2 Tb Extra Virgin Olive Oil
pinch Kosher or sea salt
1 additional Tablespoon olive oil or butter (for the sauce)
1 Tb. flour
1 C. no-fat (skim) milk
1 C. vegetable stock
Cracked black pepper
1 tsp. basil
¼ C. Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350. Cut garlic bulb in half. Place on a square of aluminum foil large enough to loosely fold over both halves. Drizzle olive oil over both halves and sprinkle with salt. Loosely fold the aluminum over the garlic and roast 40 minutes until garlic cloves are soft. You can drizzle a little more olive oil over the garlic if the cloves start to dry out before they are knife-point tender. Turn off oven and allow the garlic to cool with the door closed, wrapped in the foil to room temperature. Squeeze the cloves into a cold, large sauce pan and smush with a fork into a paste. Heat pan over medium and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil (you can use butter, but to make the sauce a little more heart-healthy we went with olive oil and skim milk instead of butter and half-and-half). When the garlic starts to sizzle in the pan (Remember, the garlic is already cooked and you don't want it to brown any more.), whisk in the flour and continue to stir to form a roux (paste). Cook for a couple minutes until the flour starts to turn light brown. Whisk in the vegetable stock and milk. Reduce heat to medium low and stir in basil, black pepper and more salt if needed (remember the Parmesan cheese will add more salt when that goes in.) When the sauce has thickened a bit but is still a little thin, stir in the cheese to further thicken. If sauce gets too thick, thin out with vegetable stock. If too thin, continue to cook to reduce or whisk in a little more flour, no more than a teaspoon at a time.
Pictured here, peeled, deveined shrimp is cooked in the sauce for 2 minutes until pink and a 6 oz bag of baby spinach is wilted in about 3 table spoons of simmering vegetable stock before being stirred into the sauce and served over rigatoni pasta.
*Note for leftovers if served with pasta: the pasta will absorb the sauce as it sits, absolutely delicious, flavoring the pasta all the way through, but you will want to add some more vegetable stock, water or milk when you re-heat the dish to restore some of the sauce to liquid form.