Quite a start to spring we’ve had so far, huh?
Oh ya know, just a BLIZZARD to kick off one of the best times of the year. Thanks, Mother Nature. While I usually love all the seasons (even winter!), I am so ready to say goodbye to these freezing temps and sloppy weather. Give me all the daffodils and tulips and cold brew coffee and Easter egg hunts! I am over it.
I had planned on sharing today’s recipe with you as the “perfect springtime pasta!” And while that’s still true, I’m irked by the fact that the weather couldn’t be FURTHER away from spring at the moment. Le sigh.
This pasta IS the perfect thing to serve this time of year (even when it’s snowy. I GUESS). It’s light and simple and comes together in 30 minutes or less (really, it only takes as long as your pasta takes to cook + water boiling time), and it ties together some wintertime produce (brussels sprouts) with some lighter flavors (goat cheese, lemon, fresh herbs). And the best part?
It’s delicious. Like, really, really delicious.
I love when deceptively easy meals turn out just as well as those that take a little more time and effort. No one has to know! Serve this up to your family on a weeknight or save it as an easy vegetarian main at a dinner party! Either way, people are gonna be happy.
Brussels sprouts are cooked with some shallot and garlic until tender, flavorful, and bright green. Then, the pasta gets added in with goat cheese, lots of lemon, fresh herbs, and some parmesan cheese. Everything gets tossed together with a little bit of that magical pasta cooking water (make sure to hold onto some before draining the pot!) until it’s ridiculously creamy and flavorful. Easy pan sauces like this ensure your that pasta makin’ is a cinch!
Now, I know a lot of people are not on board with goat cheese, and while I ADORE it, I do understand this. It’s a strong flavor. If it’s not your thing, feel free to swap in cream cheese instead! You’ll still get that lovely creaminess and some of the tang, but without the overtness of goat cheese. Ricotta cheese would also work well here. Switch it up!
Speaking of switching it up, I envision this in a couple weeks’ time with spring asparagus and peas in place of the brussels. And maybe, juuuuuuust maybe, I can see myself eating this outside on a WARM SPRING EVENING with a glass of cold chardonnay in hand with no snow or sleet or ice in sight!
Sigh. A girl can dream, right?
1 lb orecchiette pasta (or other short pasta like penne, fusilli, etc)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 shallots, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups brussels sprouts, halved or quartered
4 oz goat cheese (at room temperature, if possible)
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 cup parmesan cheese
Fresh herbs, for serving
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta, according to the package directions, until el dente. When the pasta is ready, scoop out 1 cup of the pasta water before draining.
While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the shallots. Cook for a minute and then add the garlic. Cook for another minute.
Add the brussels sprouts and a splash of water and cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes or until they are tender.
Add the pasta to the skillet with the brussels sprouts. Add the goat cheese, lemon zest and juice, and ¾ cup of the parmesan.
Toss the mixture until everything is evenly coated and well combined, adding a splash of pasta water here and there to keep things loose enough and creamy.
Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
Serve the pasta hot, garnished with the remaining parmesan cheese and fresh herbs.