Pasta with Goat Cheese and Veggies
When I was little, I used to hate goat cheese. It tasted so, for lack of a better word, weird. Now that I have a wider culinary palette and more sophisticated tastes (or so I hope), I try to incorporate goat cheese into more of my cooking.
In this pasta, the goat cheese flavor isn’t overwhelming, but it does make the dish nice and creamy and give it a unique taste.
To make enough pasta for two, you’ll need one baby eggplant, about 2 tablespoons of olive oil, one small onion, one large non-green bell pepper (or two small ones), two garlic cloves, 3 tablespoons of fresh basil or ½ teaspoon dried, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, enough pasta for two, 1/3 cup dry white wine (optional), and 2 ounces of fresh goat cheese.
First things first: heat the oven to 375, and peel the baby eggplant. Slice it into ¼” half-moons. Rub the eggplant pieces with half the olive oil, and place them on a baking sheet. Bake 10-15 minutes, turn them over, then bake 10-15 more minutes.
While you’re waiting for the hot eggplant slices to cool, start cooking the pasta, and chop up the bell pepper(s) and onion into very thin rings and the garlic into very thin slices.
If the eggplant is cool enough, slice the half-moons into thinner, bite-sized strips.
Heat the remaining half of the olive oil in a large pan, and add the pepper slices, onion slices, and garlic. Cook until everything is limp and a little brown, about 5-7 minutes.
Add the eggplant strips to the veggies, and cook for 3-5 minutes more.
Drain the pasta when it’s finished cooking—if you don’t have the white wine, though, keep 1/3 cup of the pasta liquid to use for the sauce. Add the cooked pasta and the basil to the veggies and eggplant.
Finally, add the goat cheese and the pasta water or white wine. Turn the heat way down, and stir the pasta until everything is incorporated and the texture is creamy and cheesy. When it’s all mixed well, chow down!