Saturday, June 14, 2008

Creamy Goat Cheese Pasta with Squash

I scan many different food blogs...mostly for new ideas for things to cook and bake. But, even though there's LOTS out there that looks yummy, I'm actually pretty selective about which recipes I "star" in my google reader. If my only criteria is "that looks yummy" I'd star more in a day than I could make in a month. So I really try to limit to the recipes I think I will actually make (and I *try* to be realistic in this assessment...).

All this lead-up is to say that the other day, I found a recipe on Cupcake Muffin for Creamy Goat Cheese Pasta with Zucchini and Sausage. Given that I love love love goat cheese, and it looked like a simple weeknight meal, I starred it. Later that day, I went to pick up our CSA bag and discovered some gorgeous yellow summer squash!! I knew immediately that it was destined for this recipe!

I made a couple of slight modifications, based on what I had on hand...though to be honest, many fewer modifications than I might normally make to a recipe. I have to say, it was really good (and with all that goat cheese, how could it not be?). In my opinion, the freshness of our straight-from-the-farm squash made a huge difference in this dish. I can honestly say, it is the best squash I have ever had! Psycling and I both really enjoyed it, thought we also had different assessments of it. For instance, I thought the hot sausage almost overwhelmed the delicate taste of the squash, and thought it might have been better with mild sausage (or at least a mix of the two). Psycling, on the other hand, thought that the spiciness of the hot sausage added a punch to the dish that was critical, and that maybe it would be too bland with out it. Either way, we both quite enjoyed the meal!

I'll put my "tweaks" in italics. The tweaks I made were based almost solely on making the dish with what I had on hand, to avoid a shopping trip and make a quick and easy weeknight meal.

Creamy Goat Cheese Pasta with Zucchini and Sausage (adapted from Fine Cooking)
Serves 3

Kosher salt
1/2 lb. dried rigatoni (I used penne since it was what I had on hand)
1/2 lb. hot Italian sausage (I used turkey sausage)
2 medium shallots, finely chopped (I used leeks, since we also got those in our CSA bag)
1 1/2 cups yellow and green summer squash, cut into 3/4 inch dice (I just used the yellow summer squash from our CSA bag)
3 oz. fresh goat cheese, crumbled
1 tsp finely chopped parsley (I added a little bit of chopped fresh oregano too...I had some, and thought it would taste did!)
Freshly ground black pepper
Parmigiano-Reggiano to serve (I actually left this out...I may have used a little extra goat cheese, and the pasta seemed cheesy enough without the parm. It may have been good with the extra cheese, but I didn't miss it at all.)

So there you have it. For a quick and delicious weeknight meal, this recipe definitely deserves a star. I would highly recommend giving it a try, and tweak it based on what you have on hand. I bet it will still be yummy!