Sunday, October 28, 2012

Lemony Pasta with Goat Cheese & Spinach

Last night, I went to the grocery store for some vodka.... for the homemade vanilla that I'm making for Christmas (here is a how-to).  I figured that the grocery store would be pretty quiet since it was a Saturday night, but no.

I felt like I stepped into a movie scene:  a zombie was getting bags of ice, a cyclops employee was opening the locked liquor cabinet for a 50s gangster, and everyone in costume was buying beer.  Needless to say, I felt a little out of place in a sweatshirt and jeans... not to mention that I wasn't even buying alcohol for consumption.

This dish is from my new subscription to Martha Stewart Everyday Foods (thank you, MyCokeRewards!).

The walnuts are definitely worth adding, as they add extra texture and flavor, giving the dish a rich meatiness that contrasts with the lightness of the lemon-goat-cheese-&-cilantro sauce.  You can buy these in a small package at your local grocery store, if you don't want to buy a big pack.  You can also buy them already chopped.

Also, feel free to use whatever pasta you want!  The original recipe uses spaghettini, but I used the farfalle that I had on hand.  I think that using a whole wheat pasta would be equally delicious.

Adapted from Martha Stewart Everyday Foods October Edition.

salt & pepper
1/2 pound pasta
4 ounces goat cheese
5 cups, packed, fresh baby spinach
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 cup toasted chopped walnuts

  1. Put a large pot of water on to boil.  Meanwhile, in a small skillet, toast the walnuts over medium heat until they are fragrant.  Be careful, as they will go from fragrant to burnt quickly!
  2. When water is boiling, add a small amount of salt and a drizzle of olive oil.  Cook the pasta in the boiling water according to package instructions.  When pasta is done cooking, reserve 2 cups of pasta water and then drain the pasta.
  3. In a small saucepan, stir together goat cheese and 1 cup pasta water over medium heat.  Add spinach, cilantro, and lemon juice until the spinach has wilted.  Add in the pasta, and stir until you have a sauce that lightly coats the pasta.  Remove from heat, and season with salt & pepper.  Serve the pasta, sprinkling each serving with a generous helping of walnuts.  Recipe will make about 2 servings.

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