Phil and I influence each other’s gastronomic likes and dislikes.  Before we met I wasn’t fond of sushi,  couldn’t understand all the passion for guacamole, and twisted my nose at maple syrup.  Now I’m addicted to sushi (with no intentions of rehab), I’ll eat guacamole any time,  and I can’t imagine a blueberry pancake without the heavenly nectar drizzled on top.

Phil, on the other hand,  wouldn’t touch a raw tomato, felt queasy around foie gras, and didn’t like the smell of goat cheese.  Those days are over, which is  great, because I didn’t want to skip this pasta, with creamy goat cheese enveloping cremini mushrooms and arugula.   You can use any pasta shape you prefer,  but pick a mild goat cheese that will quickly melt in the hot pasta.

(adapted from The Essential New York Times Cookbook)
receita em portugues na pagina seguinte

1 pound spaghetti (or another shape of your choice)
2 pounds cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs butter
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and black pepper to taste
2-3 cups baby arugula
3/4 pound soft goat cheese, crumbled (room temperature)
freshly minced parsley

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and cook the pasta until al dente.  Heat the olive oil and butter on a non-stick skillet, add the garlic and saute for a couple of minutes.  Add the sliced mushrooms, season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook the mushrooms until they release liquid and it almost completely evaporates.  Reserve, keeping warm.

When the pasta’s ready, reserve about 1/2 cup of the cooking water, drain the pasta, return to the pot and add the cremini mushrooms, arugula, goat cheese, and parsley. Gently toss everything to wilt the arugula, add some of the pasta water to get a smooth consistency, adjust the seasoning, and serve.

(makes 4 substantial servings)


to print the recipe, click here

Comments: If you don’t like goat cheese, then this pasta is not for you, just skip it, because the “flavor of the barnyard”  (as Phil calls it) is pronounced in the sauce.  The original recipe called for regular arugula, but instead I used baby arugula because the sharpness of the goat cheese pairs better with a milder green.  If you want to tone it down even more then use baby spinach, or even Swiss chard, although you’ll have to saute it first.  My other adaptation was to skip the 1/2 cup of olive oil that was intended as its  “finishing touch.”  Despite my love for olive oil, I’d never add 955 calories of fat to a pasta that’s perfectly fine without it.  I am not a fat-o-phobe, but have my limits.

We like to go vegetarian one day during the week, and this is a great option if you’re trying to skip meat whether occasionally or permanently.   It’s delicious!

Note to self: to make it even faster, saute the mushrooms in advance, and  re-warm them right before adding to the pasta.

ONE YEAR AGO: Seared Tuna is my Private Idaho

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(adaptado do The Esssential New York Times Cookbook)

500g espaguete
800g cogumelos cremini cortados em fatias finas
2 colheres de sopa de azeite
1 colher de sopa de manteiga
1 dente de alho picado
sal e pimenta a gosto
2-3 xícaras de baby rúcula
300g de queijo de cabra macio, aos pedacinhos (em temperatura ambiente)
salsinha picada

Leve uma panela grande de água salgada para ferver e cozinhe o macarrão até ficar al dente. Aqueça o azeite e a manteiga em uma frigideira antiaderente, adicione o alho e refogue por alguns minutos. Adicione os cogumelos fatiados, tempere levemente com sal e pimenta. Cozinhe os cogumelos até que soltem todo seu liquido e o liquido evapore quase que por completo. Reserve, mantendo aquecido.

Quando o macarrão estiver pronto, reserve cerca de 1 / 2 xícara de água do cozimento, escorra a massa, retorne para a panela e adicione os cogumelos cremini, rúcula, queijo de cabra, e salsa. Gentilmente misture tudo para que a rúcula cozinhe em contato com a massa, acrescente um pouco da agua do cozimento para produzir uma textura macia ao molho, ajuste o tempero e sirva.

(rendimento: 4 porcoes)

12 thoughts on “SOFT SPOT FOR CHEVRE

    • I still resist anchovies, but have been working on them – my goal is to end all my food aversions, and the only one still hanging around is fishy tasting fish, like herring, anchovies…. I will get there, though…


      • I used to hate anchovies, or at least I thought I did. Maybe I just reacted negatively to the way they look and smell in the tin. But a friend made the best pasta sauce I’d ever tasted, and I asked her her secret. You guessed it: anchovies. She would drop a few into the sauce as it bubbled away, and the fishies would just melt, leaving just an indefinable richness behind.

        I add them to many sauces now, and people often say, “Wow, that’s so good! What’s in there?”

        Another trick for red sauce: whole fennel seeds.


  1. I agree completely with you – again! – on the excesses of olive oil use in recipes and restaurants. Sometimes I see cooking shows and they pour olive oil over a dish! Olive oil is healthy, but that doesn’t mean we need to consume a ton of it. And, the calories are another thing to consider, as you pointed out.


  2. This sounds delicious, and I’m going to try it with whole wheat pasta this week. I might use a chevre rolled in herbs, like the wonderful one produced by Vermont Creamery. I used some of that in an omelet this morning, and it was super.

    I sometimes drizzle a little olive oil atop pasta before serving, but just a little. It’s hard to see how 1/2 cup of it could be that appetizing! I did read somewhere about some very old, very healthy people in a Greek or Italian village, who swear by their habit of drinking several ounces of olive oil every morning, like a tonic. I guess it’s good lubrication for the system, if nothing else.


    • oh, I love whole wheat pasta, it would work so well with these flavors!

      I heard of folks also drinking coconut oil (the clear type) early in the morning, I don’t think I could bring myself to drink oil by itself on an empty stomach… 🙂


  3. @Paula…

    very interesting that you would mention that sauce. I’ve seen recipes using anchovies that way, and thought I would never be able to like them. Now you really made me curious. I’ll tell you what – I will do it sometime before the Summer. That’s a promise! And will let you know how it goes…


  4. Sally, you’ll be amazed. The anchovies lose any fishy taste when in a sauce. I try to use the kind in jars rather than tins. I might use 7 or 8 pieces in a sauce, and the rest will keep quite well in the jar in the fridge for a long time.


  5. This sounds wonderful. I recently started eating goat cheese, mostly on pizza but I’ve also made it into a souffle and am really enjoying it. By the way, like Phil, I won’t eat a raw tomato, though I am now able to touch one. 🙂


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