Monday, May 2, 2011

Whole-Wheat Shells with Walnuts & Goat Cheese

This dish had me at "walnuts."

In short, this recipe is quick, easy, delicious, (mostly) healthy, and deceptively sophisticated. And did I mention economical? A big "thank you" to Good Housekeeping for this one.

This recipe can be adjusted for the number of people you're serving just by punching in the number, a feature I am generally much too impressed by. The numbers below are for 4 people. I roughly halved these for Brady and I, but things started to turn into weird fractions, so I kinda eyeballed everything.

Salt & Pepper
1/3 cups walnuts, chopped
1 large clove garlic, chopped
2/3 tbs. olive oil, or about 1 1/2 turns of the pan
2/3 box of medium whole-wheat pasta shells
2/3 pounds frozen peas
4 ounces goat cheese, softened

1. Heat covered 6-quart pot of water to boiling on high. Add 2 teaspoons salt. 

2. In an 8- to 10-inch skillet, combine walnuts, garlic, and oil. Cook on medium until golden and fragrant, stirring occasionally. Stir in 1/8 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground black pepper. 

3. Add pasta to boiling water in pot. Cook 1 minute less than minimum time that label directs, stirring occasionally. Add peas; cook 1 minute longer. Reserve 1 cup pasta cooking water. Drain pasta and peas; return to pot.

4. Add goat cheese, 1/2 cup cooking water, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. If mixture is dry, toss with additional cooking water. To serve, top with garlic-and-walnut mixture.

The garlic and walnuts gave this a really rich, nutty flavor and the goat cheese became a creamy, effortless sauce that wasn't overwhelming or heavy. You could definitely use a flavored goat cheese, like garlic & herb, but I used plain. The peas are definitely a must for color. Yum!

Quote of the Day: A piece of spaghetti or a military unit can only be led from the front end. ~ George S. Patton

1 comment:

  1. Can't wait to try this! It looks really yummy (and easy enough for me to not screw up). Thanks for the recipe and pic.