I have never thought of myself as a pasta lover/fan and I usually avoid pasta in the U.S. It is just too much of the same taste with each bite for me and I get bored of the taste and consistency quickly. So I was excited to start tasting the food in Italy, where pasta is not a main dish and definitely not the only dish for a meal as I am used to from the U.S. (adding bread sticks does not help, Olive Garden). Here the pasta portions are smaller and are followed by a meat dish most likely. I can get on bored with that.
In addition, pasta is a lot more varied than tomato sauce with or without meat or the white creamy white sauce offered in mainstream American restaurants. For example, I had a lasagne that did not include any tomatoes but a thick brown sauce and radicchio and meat in between the layers of pasta.
Browsing through the English-language newspaper The Florentine this week, I cam across an intriguing pasta recipe: quick, cheap, and unusual. It is Lemon-Goat Cheese Pasta. The sauce is an interesting combination of lemony tartness and creamy cheese. So if you like tart and sour and/or are a little adventurous, this might be for you:
Recipe for 2:
- 250g or 9oz fresh tagliolini or linguine pasta (I took whatever I had at hand, which is not the Italian custom)
- Zest and juice of 1 organic lemon
- 50g or 3.5 tbsp of butter
- 1 tbsp of olive oil
- 50g or 2oz of creamy goat cheese (caprino) [I actually added a little more since the package was 80g and I did not know what to do with the rest and the sauce worked out]
- Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper
- Optional: Parsley
Fresh pasta does not take long to cook, so I recommend getting the water boiling while preparing the sauce and then cooking the pasta just when the sauce is already done.
Place the butter and olive oil in a wide pan over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add the lemon zest and cook for a minute while stirring (do not burn). Add the lemon juice and let simmer for a minute. Add the goat cheese and let it melt into a sauce. If it seems too thick, add a few spoonfuls of the pasta water. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the cooked pasta and toss in the sauce to coat. If it seems dry, add a little more of the pasta water. Garnish with chopped parsley and add Parmesan cheese.
This recipe is from The Florentine, but I changed some of the directions based on my experience with this recipe (for example, the original adds a lot more water, which made the sauce too runny for my taste).
The pasta is tangy and light, and I finally know what I can do with all the lemons in my California backyard next winter. I have been talking about this recipe to so many people around here and handed out paper copies of the one published in the newspaper that I decided that it makes sense to add it to the blog.
Who needs cream or tomato for fresh pasta sauce!