Now this sauce originally came from a veggie lasagne recipe I got from my neighbor Nicki. If any of you want the original lasagne recipe, which is PHENOMENAL, well you just let me know and I'll get it to you. But I want to show you the recipe as a sauce because that way you get to see how easy, versatile and most importantly DELICIOUS it is.
I've served this to my family in the lasagne a couple of times, and last night I served it over pan-seared tilapia resting atop mashed potatoes. It'd also work wonderfully over chicken breasts, over a cut up chicken done in your slow cooker, or just mixed into your favorite pasta with a little grated parmesan for a vegetarian dish.
1/2 cup chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 T. olive oil
1 14 oz. can vegetable or chicken broth
1 t. dried rosemary, crushed in the palm of your hand
1/4 t. ground nutmeg
1/4 t. black pepper
1 10 oz. pkg. frozen spinach, thawed and well-drained
(or 3-4 cups of fresh spinach - a bag)
1 14 oz. can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1 16 oz. jar prepared Alfredo sauce (I use Classico's Creamy Alfredo)
Now I know what you're thinking. JARRED ALFREDO SAUCE? YUCK! But with all of these other yummy ingredients, you're turning the pre-made stuff into something that tastes perfectly homemade.
TRUST ME. Have I let you down so far?
(Just make sure you don't add any extra salt anywhere, because jarred sauces generally have more than a plenty of that.)
Saute the onion, mushrooms and garlic in the olive oil until they're starting to get tender. Add the broth, rosemary, pepper and nutmeg and bring to a boil. Stir in the artichokes and spinach*. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add the Alfredo sauce and stir that in, bringing it up to a nice hot temperature.
And you're done.
*If you're using fresh spinach, you can leave it out of the sauce and just saute it up in a little oil and serve it over the fish, or the chicken, or the pasta, before spooning on the sauce. This gives the dish ,a little WOW! factor. It also makes it so you can eliminate the spinach for those who don't like it. (Bean!)
If you like fish, I'm telling you right now: HIE YOURSELF HITHER TO TARGET. Go to the frozen foods section and look for the Market Pantry brand frozen Tilapia filets and buy them ALL. Because they are AWESOME. They come individually packaged inside the big bag, so you can easily remove as many as you need for your family and thaw them, sans fuss or mess.
Tilapia is a really hearty white fish and stands up well against the kind of cooking I end up doing around here now that I have little people who desperately need me approximately every 4.3 seconds. Where other white fish ends up as slush in the bottom of my pan, Tilapia stays firm and perky.
You gotta love you a firm and perky fishy, people.
To prepare the fish, thaw it completely, rinse it, and pat it dry with paper towels. Give it a nice light coating of olive oil on each side and then sprinkle it with your favorite seasoning blend. Me? I just use garlic salt. Get a skillet nice and hot on the stove and add enough olive oil to cover the bottom. Allow that to get hot and then gently place the filets in the pan. Let those cook on one side for 3-4 minutes, then use a spatula or fish-turner (I don't have one, but I want one!) to flip them over. Cook the second side 3-4 minutes or until the fish is done all the way through, (it'll be white instead of pinkish) and remove from the pan.
Easy enough, right?
Then just whip up some mashed taters and put a blob of those on the plate, perch a piece of seared Tilapia atop them, and then smother the whole creation with your sauce.
It's favorite-restaurant-good food, right there at your own table, I tell you.
I wish I had a picture for you, but by the time I'd decided to post this recipe, this dish had disappeared from all the plates.