Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Two weeks = Two months (apparently)

It's been depressing to log into Blogspot and discover that I hadn't posted since September, But Java and C and Aegean Art History and writing a cooking column for the school paper have eaten me whole, leaving me little time to eat anything but Tina's Beef and Bean frozen burritos and the occasional pasta dish.

Ah, you say, she neglects her blog for the school paper? How gauche! At the least she could have posted those articles here!

And I would have done so, except I don't like using the same article twice. I have used a couple recipes twice, including the Apple Cake from my last post. But now I return to writing articles only for Collegiate Cookery, since the semester is nearly over. So tonight, instead of writing about the iconography of Egyptian gods during the dynastic period, I present one of my mainstay pasta dishes, tentatively titled Goat Cheese Is Great.

Sadly, it's difficult to find a good chevre at a lot of grocery stores- many brands are to salty, or too bland, or just funny-tasting. I generally buy it in largish logs at Trader Joe's instead- I don't remember the brand, but it's better than the REALLY salty one in the four-sided tapered box. It was so salty it nearly ruined a lamb stew. *shudders*

So I often have chevre, milk or cream, pasta, and various vegetables, along with my herb garden (yes, I may be the only undergraduate student in the United States with an herb garden. I never said I wasn't weird), and this makes for an easy cream sauce- almost too easy, but since non-tomato-based sauces are NOT my forte, it's a little less risky than and actual cream sauce. It's also easy enough for anyone who can boil water...

Goat Cheese Is Great
Pasta with Chevre and Vegetables
Serves 1-2


~1/4 pound pasta (I recommend spaghetti, cappellini, orechiette, fettucine, or bow-tie pasta)

4 oz. goat cheese
1/2 cup milk or cream (cream is richer, obviously: I would recommend whole milk at least or it might be too thin)
1/2 cup - 1 cup chopped and diced vegetables such as onions, broccoli, tomatoes, spinach, kale, mushrooms, snap peas
2 cloves garlic OR 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (or to taste)
fresh or dried parsley, basil, chives
~2 tablespoons butter


1) Start pasta water. Begin preparing vegetables and any fresh herbs or garlic.

2) When the pasta goes in, melt the butter in a small saucepan on medium heat. As soon as it starts to sizzle, add the diced onions and the garlic, fresh or powdered. Stir frequently.

Note: It's preferable that the pasta finish cooking before the sauce than the sauce before the pasta. The pasta sits better than the sauce.

3) Once the onions are translucent (don't stress how translucent, they'll be tasty either way) add the other vegetables and continue stirring until they are all cooked to your liking.

4) Take the saucepan off the heat and turn that same burner down to medium-low. Add the chevre to the pan and then pour in the milk or cream.

5) Put back on heat and mix the chevre in, being careful not to let the mixure boil. When the pasta is done and everything is mixed in, let the sauce just barely begin to bubble, then take off the heat and add to the pasta. Stir well, and eat well.