28 May 2011

Bacon & Goat's Cheese Pasta

This is one of my favourite lighter pasta dishes, at the moment.

It has the benefit of the lovely gently flavoured mild goat's cheese (I use the £1.50 soft goat's cheese log from Asda, which I believe originates in France) which melts beautifully and doesn't soak into the pasta, resulting in a claggy, sticky mess as the pasta cools.  Because the goat's cheese has a sharpness, it doesn't cling to your palate and each mouthful goes down as well as the first one did.

I hate pasta in thick cream sauces (particularly cream cheese-based ones) which begin to set as the pasta cools on your plate, resulting in a clagged up lump of pasta pieces that need to be cut with your fork.  Bleaugh.

The recipe originally stated to use Kale, and although I love Kale, hubby has some issues with its leatheriness.  As such, I swapped onto Savoy cabbage - which if you make sure to give it just 3 minutes in the pasta water, is perfectly fine.

So, it's just a brief chopping job, then a two-pan cooking job - and onto your plate.

Couldn't be easier!  Which is why I booked it in for a Monday - after a day at work, I need a meal that's going to come together easily.

Don't be frightened of the goat's cheese - if you get a mild flavoured creamy one, you'll hardly notice the goatiness of it.  It really is streets ahead of plain ordinary cream cheese.


Ingredients :

400g penne or fusilli pasta
200g shredded Savoy cabbage
150g streaky bacon, chopped
1 medium red onion, chopped
150g soft mild goat's cheese
grated parmesan to serve.

Method :

1.  Bring a large pan of lightly salted water to the boil.

2.  Cook the pasta according to the manufacturer's instructions, however, 3 minutes before the pasta is due to be cooked, add the cabbage to the pasta water.

3.  In the meantime, dry-fry the bacon pieces in a frying pan until starting to brown, then drain the fat off (into a cup for roast potatoes!).  Remove the bacon to keep warm.

4.  Put the onion into the frying pan with 2 tsp of the bacon fat and fry lightly until softened and transparent.  Return the bacon to the pan.

5.  Add the goat's cheese to the bacon/onion mixture and heat slowly, adding a little milk, to help break the cheese down and make it saucy.  Add seasoning (salt & black pepper) to taste.

6.  Once the pasta & cabbage are done, drain (retaining a little of the cooking water) and replace in the cooking pan.  Add the bacon mixture and lightly fold it through, adding a little of the cooking water if the sauce appears too thick.

Once you're happy with the consistency, serve with a bowl of grated parmesan for sprinkling over.


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