Farfalle with Goat Cheese and Brussels Sprouts

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Pasta and cheese are such a delightful combination, aren’t they? The problem – nutritionally – is that it’s so easy to overdo the cheese! This recipe takes a happy little detour from the mozzarellas and parmesans that are so common in pasta recipes and uses goat cheese instead. Goat cheese and pasta? You betcha. Goat cheese is mild, soft, and creamy – put a few dollops on freshly cooked pasta, and magic happens.

In this recipe, we’re blending the creamy goodness of goat cheese with the pizzazz of fresh lemon and the nutritional punch of roasted Brussels sprouts. The trick to these Brussels sprouts, which are perfectly roasted but not at all dry, is to parboil them first. So simple! Let’s get started.

Ingredients (serves 4)

1 pound box of dry farfalle pasta (looks like little bow ties)

1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts

1/4 fresh lemon

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 ounces goat cheese

WIN_20150328_213111Directions

Step 1) Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Trim ends off of Brussels sprouts, cut in half lengthwise, and add to boiling water.

Step 2) Boil Brussels sprouts for 2 minutes. Drain, then transfer to a baking pan greased with coconut oil.

Step 3) Start a second pot of water boiling (for the pasta).

Step 4) Sprinkle Brussels sprouts with salt. Squeeze juice from 1/4 lemon over Brussels sprouts, and place in a preheated 400 degree oven.

Step 5) Start pasta boiling; check after 10 minutes. Drain pasta when it is cooked but still slightly chewy; this usually takes 12-13 minutes.

Step 6) Divide drained pasta among serving bowls and remove sprouts from oven. Top with small dollops of goat cheese and roasted Brussels sprouts. Enjoy!

French Spaghetti

 

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I’ll admit it.  The variety of pasta available in France surprised me.  In hindsight, that seems foolish, but there it is.  I just didn’t think of France as a pasta-loving country.  Wow, was I ever wrong!  Consider the variety of dried pastas available in a typical French market:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhile I was surprised by the wall-o-pasta, Half-Pint was just plain delighted.  “Noodles!” He spotted with glee.  It didn’t take long for Half-Pint to wear me down… sure, we’ll have “pa-sketti” tonight.  🙂  All we need are a few fresh vegetables, thin cuts of beef, a bit of mild cheese, and yes, spaghetti noodles.  Join us for a simple, if slightly surprising, dinner in France!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIngredients (serves 4)

1 pound dried pasta

1/2 pound beef, sliced in wafer thin (1/4 inch or thinner) strips

sea salt

black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion

4 cloves garlic

4 ripe tomatoes

2 ounces mild white cheese

1 teaspoon herbes de provence

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADirections

Step 1) Dice onion and saute in olive oil over medium heat until onions are almost translucent. Add garlic and beef strips. Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper.

Step 2) Quickly brown the beef strips on both sides – this should take no longer than 1 minute per side.

Step 3) Remove beef strips from pan and set aside.  Add tomatoes, chopped, and saute with onions and garlic over medium heat for about 3 minutes, until tomatoes just begin to dissolve.  Return beef to the pan and stir gently to coat beef with tomato juices.  Remove pan from heat.

Step 4) Spoon tomato sauce and beef strips over pasta which has been cooked al dente (slightly chewy). Top pasta, beef, and sauce with thin slices of mild white cheese.  Sprinkle crushed herbes de provence over the entire dish. Serve immediately, preferably with a green salad and red wine.  Enjoy!