It is apparently dairy week ~ Ham Pie Sandwiches

18 January 2008

It is apparently dairy week

Before I got sick:

Superpungent supervegetable goat cheese pasta

olive oil
olives (green here)
roasted red pepper
tomato puree/etc
goat cheese
salt, pepper, basil, oregano, paprika

Make pasta while you make the sauce. Timing depends on the pasta. I had gemelli. These take a long time, more than ten minutes, so I started them first.

If you need to roast a red pepper, do it. I had one left over.

Sauce: crush, peel, and roughly chop a lot of garlic. Use like six or eight cloves. Throw them into a big pan with some olive oil and cook medium-slow while you prep other vegetables.

Chop up olives and add them once the garlic is slightly softened. Chop up your roasty pepper and add it too. Open a can of tomatoes and dump maybe half of it into the sauce. Season with oregano, basil, paprika, black pepper, and lots of salt. Everything else can be pretty sparse; you already have olives and roasted red pepper, and you're going to have goat cheese.

Bring this all to a nice simmer and let it cook. I usually add my pasta to the boil at this point.

Now do the major vegetable prep: fresh spinach. Wash your spinach well (give bath in sink, destem, put in towel, go out back, swing towel, spray water everywhere via centrifugal force) and chop it too. Make the pieces pretty small, so you'll end up with lots of nice bits instead of long stringy pieces.

When the pasta and sauce are just about done, it is time to swing into action. Add spinach to sauce, stir, and turn heat to very low. This way the spinach will just get nice and soft and shriveldy.

Now get out your goat cheese. You want a semisoft chalky dude for this, although clearly other cheeses would work well too. I like goat cheese because it's all pungent and yet will melt and meld seamlessly into the sauce. If you hate goat cheese, you should clearly use something else, such as romano, or no cheese at all. So. Cut off a couple good chunks of goat cheese, break them up in your fingers, and add them to the sauce.

Stir. They will melt right in. If you are dissatisfied with your amount of cheese, do it again. The sauce will turn lighter and lighter orange with each bit of cheese you add. When you like the taste, stir really well to break up any last chunks. The result will be SUPER UNCTUOUS. Well, not really oily, but clingy and rich in a very satisfying way.

Drain pasta, dump into sauce, and mix. Now you can eat it.

You really want red wine with this. I don't think I had any red wine. You should get some red wine.

You should also get a severely crispy salad with hearts of romaine and super garlicky dressing. I didn't have that either.

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