Monday, 4 May 2015

Herbed Goat Cheese Pasta

Apart from  the time spent wandering around the garden, gathering a bit of this and that, this is as quick and simple a dish as you are likely to find.

I had both green onions and chives, parsley, sorrel, and the tops of leaf celery that overwintered very nicely. I really don't know if it will go to seed soon (it seems likely) but right now it is a lovely addition to salads and other things. The cream should be just enough to make the cheese coat the pasta smoothly, rather than staying a bit sticky. I like whole wheat pasta for this, but I suppose it is not absolutely required - regular will do very well.

Daffodils, I should add, are strictly a decorative plant.

2 to 4 servings
20 to 25 minutes prep time, not including gathering the herbs

2 to 3 cups mixed fresh herbs and greens
1 clove garlic, OPTIONAL
250 grams (1/2 pound) whole wheat spaghetti, spaghettini, or cappellini
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
150 to 200 grams (1/3 pound) soft goat cheese (chevre)
2 to 3 tablespoons light cream
salt & freshly ground black or green pepper to taste

Put a large pot of salted water on to boil for the pasta.

For the herbs, use a mixture of chives, green onion, garlic, or shallot tops, wild leeks (ramps), parsley, sorrel, spinach, or arugula. Stronger herbs such as thyme, dill, or oregano can be added in small quantities. Overwintered leeks or celery shoots can also be used, as could pea shoots. Wash them well, pick them over, chop them finely, then set them to drain thoroughly. If you like, peel and mince a clove of garlic.

When the water boils cook the pasta according to the directions until just done. Drain well, but leave the stove on.

Immediately return the empty pot to the stove, and add the butter, chevre, and cream to the pot. Stir well, breaking up the chevre, until you have smooth mixture. Add the herbs (and garlic, if using) and cook  until they are just wilted. Add the drained pasta, toss until thoroughly and evenly coated in the cheese and  herb mixture. Season with salt and generous quantities of fairly coarsely ground pepper, toss again, and serve at once.

Last year at this time I made Steak & Mushroom Pie.

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