I make lots of different pastas.
Some preparations are in regular rotation throughout the years (the pasta w/ chickpeas + garlic sauce is a particularly good one – we’ll get to that in another post). Others become weekly fixtures for a few months and then, well, just sort of disappear.
I still hang on to those old recipes. They remain scotch-taped into my little spiral kitchen notebook, and sometimes, when I’m really out of ideas, I declare a plan to unearth one and recreate it. But lately, those new-again pastas have been really disappointing. Maybe my tastes have changed, maybe I forgot the small changes I used to make to the original recipe, or maybe the dish was never as tasty as I remember it. I should probably take these old recipes out of the notebook, but I like to leave them there, like little souvenirs or old snapshots of my past. My kitchen notebook is like a scrapbook, in that way.
But a few months ago, I was searching online for recipe inspiration, and came across this. It’s penne w/ a very simple “sauce” of goat cheese, arugula, and tomatoes. It’s delicious, and has quickly become our new favorite pasta, for right now.
The method couldn’t be easier. In the time it takes to boil the water and cook the pasta, you chop everything up and throw it in your largest mixing bowl. Add the drained pasta, toss, and eat. We’ve made this a couple of times now since its discovery, and it definitely feels like a keeper. I love having a new favorite pasta recipe, don’t you? I don’t know if this one will slowly fade away over time, like the others, or keep its place front and center in the rotation. Either way, it’s good right now, on these early summer days, in our kitchen.
I hope you enjoy this pasta. I think it would make an excellent dish to share with others. The flavor combination is really good, and you can easily have a drink and chat with guests while you boil and chop, pulling it all together. I suspect it would also go really well with a green salad dressed with a lemon-y vinaigrette.
Let me know if you try this. ~Inge
Penne w/ arugula, goat cheese, and tomatoes
You could probably substitute spinach for the arugula, but the arugula does give it a nice pepper-y bite. Feel free to use whatever size/shape tomato you’d like, too. The recipe calls for 5 ½ ounces of goat cheese, which means you have to buy two of those little 4 oz. logs. On days when I’m feeling really broke, I just use 4 oz of goat cheese with the same amount of pasta and other ingredients, and honestly, there’s not much of a difference. You can do that, too, if you want to save some pennies (and calories) sometimes. But for the first time, you should make it using the entire amount of cheese, to get the full effect.
8 ounces uncooked penne
2 cups chopped arugula
5 ½ ounces goat cheese, crumbled
1 cup halved grape or cherry tomatoes
¼ cup good olive oil
2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Boil water and cook the pasta according to package directions (until al dente). In the meantime, prepare the other ingredients and place them in the largest mixing bowl you have. Drain the pasta and toss with the other ingredients. You’re done, now eat!