Thursday, April 14, 2011

Pasta with Goat Cheese and Tomatoes

The week I left for Thailand was a very busy week.  I had a full fridge, but also a busy social calendar.  As I was preparing to leave Friday morning, I took a look in my fridge and thought, what a waste.  I had gorgeous tomatoes, goat cheese, fresh arugala, herbs.... so many things that would clearly not make it to the other side of being gone for 11 days. 

So I did what any self respecting person would do.  I cheffed and froze.  Cheffed and froze. Which means that I threw together a pasta dish I had been meaning to make and I literally put everything else into the freezer.  Herbs.  Cheese.  Ricotta.  Leftovers.  In it all well.

It's awesome being single and getting to make judgment calls like this. 

With everything packed and ready to go for Thailand, I whipped out the i4 and got to work on a recipe I had been drooling over at The Chubby Cook.  I haven't met Scott, but I consistently drool over the amazing creations that come out of his kitchen.  And his food photography is top notch.  Head over there and prepare to get hungry.

Pasta with Goat Cheese, Tomatoes and Argula (as adapted from The Chubby Cook)
  • 1 box rotini or other pasta which will catch the sauce
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, rinsed and dried, or four medium size tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 ounces goat cheese
  • 2 cups loosely packed arugula
  • Salt and Fresh Cracked Pepper

See what I am talking about here?  These tomatoes were gorgeous and just asking to be cheffed up.  It would have been a crying shame to let them go bad.  If you can't find cherry tomatoes (neither Trader Joes, nor Shaw's had any!), you can go with four or so really good looking tomatoes.  When sliced, try to retain the juices, this is a key element in making the sauce. 

You know the drill - heat a tablespoon of EVOO in a pan.  Once it's hot, add in the tomatoes.  Keep these moving around the pan so they don't burn.  The juices will start to loosen out of the slices and the tomatoes will begin to soften. If you're using cherry or grape tomatoes, some will start to burst.  Cook about six minutes and add in the garlic for another few minutes.   There's no science to it, so feel it out.

Now it's time to add in the goat cheese.  You're going to go from red to pink almost immediately.  I didn't need any extra salt, but it did definitely need some fresh ground black pepper.  Depending on how thin your sauce is at this point, add your reserved pasta water to achieve desired consistency.  I didn't need any at all.  Remove from heat and add in argula.  Stir to wilt it a bit into the sauce.   

Take your pasta in bowl, add in the sauce.... and


 I topped with a bit of parmesan. And at 9 o'clock in the morning, right before I left on a 20 hour trip to Thailand, I ate a bowl of this. Awesome. It's fresh. It's light feeling. It's tasty and I can't believe how fast it all came together. I packaged the leftover into tupperwares and into the freezer they went. You know, along with the rest of the goat cheese, ricotta, herbs...  I then quickly did some dishes, wiped down the kitchen and plopped on the couch for a moment of peace before heading off on the vacation of a lifetime.

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