Summer Pasta with Broccoli, Sun-dried Tomatoes & Goat Cheese

Summer Pasta with Broccoli, Sun-dried Tomatoes, and Goats Cheese
Summer Pasta with Broccoli, Sun-dried Tomatoes, and Goats Cheese

My love for pasta is known far and wide. Well, not exactly far and wide but far enough in my circle of friends and family. It does not matter how many times I promise myself to try something different at an Italian restaurant, I can never somehow seem to move past the section called ‘pasta’. I love all kinds the twisty spirals, elegant bow ties, sexy strands of spaghetti, or the flat lusciousness of pappardelle, drenched in all kinds of sauces. The best thing about pasta is that you can dress it up any way you want. It can be as simple or as fancy as you like, and the end result is always delicious. Infact, my favourite go-to pasta is a simple ‘Aglio Olio’ with some capers added in for good measure.

This pasta is really simple to make and comes with the added health punch of broccoli. It’s perfect for those ‘meatless monday’ weeknight dinners, when the first day of the week has drained you out , and you want comfort food without the crazy calories! The recipe is ready in all of 30mins. The goats cheese forms a nice creamy sauce which coats a spirally or bow tie pasta perfectly. The sun-dried tomatoes and capers help provide a nice balance of acidity that cuts through the cheese. I used wholewheat pasta spirals as I like to add as much fibre as possible in dinner. You can use regular bow tie or spiral pasta, and if you can get your hands on it , then hand rolled fresh pasta would be perfect for this kind of recipe. I also added some chopped olives because I had them on hand but they are optional. I used fresh basil leaves instead of parsley in this pasta, as I like the slightly sweet anise flavour of fresh leaves. It goes beautifully with this pasta. The leftovers work great as a cold salad for lunch, just add some fresh salad leaves and toss the pasta through!

This recipe is a take on the basic pasta that I usually make, and I won’t claim it to have any Italian origins. That’s the thing about food, it transcends cultures and borders and we make it our own in our homes by giving it our little twist.

Made healthier by using Wholewheat Pasta
Made healthier by using Wholewheat Pasta

Summer Pasta with Broccoli, Sun-dried Tomatoes & Goat Cheese

  • Servings: 2ppl
  • Time: 30mins
  • Difficulty: “easy”

INGREDIENTS

250gm dried pasta (spirals or bow-tie )
1 head of broccoli, cut into bite size pieces
1 cup sun dried tomatoes sliced, and oil drained well
1/4cup capers drained and washed
150gm goat cheese (I use Chèvre Goats Cheese)
5-6cloves of garlic minced
1-2tbsp dried chilli flakes (use less for less heat)
1tbsp lemon juice
4-5tbsp good quality olive oil
1/3 cup parmesan cheese grated
1/2 tsp dried oregano
Salt to taste
Fresh Basil leaves, or, parsley leaves to garnish
1/4 cup chopped Kalamata olives (optional)

RECIPE

  1. Cook the pasta in salted water as per packet instructions. One tip I learned from reading Italian cookbooks, is that the pasta water should be so salty so as to taste of the sea! Drain the cooked pasta and reserve a little more than 1cup pasta water.
  2. In a heavy bottomed pan, heat 2tbsp olive oil. Add the capers and fry them till they sizzle around 2-3mins. Add the chopped garlic and sauté for a few mins, taking care to not let the garlic brown. Add the dried chilli peppers and mix for 30secs. Remove from heat immediately. Pour the chilli garlic flavoured oil in a bowl and set aside
  3. Wipe the pan clean of any reside and heat the remaining olive oil. Add the broccoli and sauté it till it turns bright green and has a crisp brown colouring on the edges. You want the broccoli crunchy and not over cooked, so keep an eye on it.
  4. Once the broccoli is cooked, add the sun-dried tomatoes and sauté for a minute. Add around 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water to the pan and bring to a boil until the liquid is reduced to half. Turn off the heat
  5. Add pasta, chilli oil, and chopped olives to the pan. Stir until mixed through well.
  6. Now add the goat cheese, half of the parmesan, lemon juice and 1-2tbsp pasta water to the pasta, and stir to mix gently until the goats cheese  starts to melt. Goats Cheese is really soft and the heat from the pan and the pasta melt it into a saucy consistency. Add more olive oil if the pasta looks too dry, to loosen up the sauce.
  7. Sprinkle some fresh basil leaves and stir through. Sprinkle the remaining parmesan and basil leaves on top, and serve immediately

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