Monday, November 23, 2009

Goat Cheese and Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta

{Meatless Monday}

Another Martha Stewart Everyday Food recipe...I really love this publication.  I NEVER, and I mean NEVER cooked anything out of the Martha Stewart was always so complicated and called for things I had never heard of.  But these are simple and easy and (most of the time) fairly quick.

Before I post the recipe, I have to say that I am the Queen of substitutions...but only because I am the Queen of Forgetfulness!!  Somehow I always seem to forget at least one ingredient for every recipe I plan to make.  (Just ask my neighbors!!  I am actually thrilled when a neighbor calls me to borrow something, because I am ALWAYS calling them! ; )

I actually substituted 2 ingredients in this because I forgot to buy it, and one because I didn't want to pay for actual goat cheese (Chevre), so I opted for the cheaper Feta Cheese.

Here's what you will need:

salt and ground pepper
12 oz rigatoni or penne pasta
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced (It actually specifies NOT packed in oil, but that's all I could find)
1/4 cup slivered almonds (I had to substitute walnuts)
1 T olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
5 oz. soft goat cheese, more for topping
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley or 2 T dried parsley

Cook pasta according to directions, but add sun-dried tomatoes for last 3 minutes of boiling.  Remove 2 cups pasta water to reserve for later.  Drain remaining liquid and return to pot.

Meanwhile, heat a small skillet and toast almonds 2-4 minutes until lightly browned.  Set aside.

In skillet, heat oil, garlic, and pepper flakes.  Cook for just one minute.  Remove from heat.

Add garlic mixture, reserved pasta water, and crumbled cheese into the pasta pot.  Stir to combine.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve and top with almonds and additional cheese.

The flavor was really good..even though I cooked the walnuts well past "toasted"!   My husband's only complaint (I asked him what he thought of it, if he liked the flavor, if I should make it again) was that the pasta was overcooked. (Oops...seriously, I need to try to just do one thing at a time when all my kids are home.  Nothing turns out well when I'm trying to do to much! ; )  I completely forgot to set a timer for the noodles and so I just guessed.  And I guess I guessed wrong! 

We had this with the homemade wheat bread I've been making easy and really good.  If you haven't tried it, you should!!

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