Monday, January 14, 2013

Pasta with Arugula, Goat Cheese and Sun Dried Tomato Pesto


I think it's safe to say that pasta is one of my all time favorite foods.  I have to be honest, I'm a carb loving fool.  There is just something so satisfying about that starchy goodness.  Top that pasta with some type of tomatoes and cheese and I'm in heaven.  Talk about comfort food!  And I think Tucker has an equal love for all things pasta.  When I ask Tucker what he wants to eat, 9 times out of 10 his answer is mac and cheese.  He comes by his love of pasta and cheese honestly, right?
This is another one of those recipes that combines three of my favorite things; pasta, tomatoes and cheese.  Yum.  This is a meal that is perfect for those times you are craving something lite and refreshing, but maybe the ingredients aren't in season yet.  This gives will give you your tomato fix, but instead of fresh tomatoes it utizlizes sun dried tomatoes.  Another twist, is instead of the traditional parmesan or mozzerella, this calls for goat cheese.  I must say, I have a weakness for that stuff.  There is just something so delicious about the creamy, tang that goat cheese has to offer.  I guess you could say this recipe takes classic flavors and amps them up a notch or two.

This recipe is so easy to put together, and one that is perfect for those ever so busy weeknights.  Simply combine sun dried tomatoes, along with a few other ingredients in the food processor and pulsle until combined.  Then add olive oil until the mixture comes together and a pesto is formed.  Now I could actually stop at this point, get a loaf of crusty bread and be perfectly content.  But for those of you out there that need a little more, I will continue!  The tomato pesto is then combined with the pasta and tossed to coat.  Add some peppery arugula and tangy goat cheese and you have a perfect meal that is packed full of flavor.  I love the sweetness the sun dried tomatoes add.  This combined with all the other flavors make for an amazing and satisfying meal. 

This is also one of those meals that gives you all the satisfaction of comfort food without really hurting your waste!  Perfect for everyone still trying to keep those new year's resolutions! 

Pasta with Arugula, Goat Cheese and Sun Dried Tomato Pesto
Ingredients:

1 Pound Farfalle pasta
3/4 Cup sundried tomatoes, packed in oil
1/4 Cup parmesan cheese
3 Tbsp pine nuts
2 1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Cloves garlic, minced
1/3 Cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 Oz baby arugula
3/4 Cups crumbled goat cheese

Directions:

Cook pasta according to manufacturer's instructions.  Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water, drain the pasta and set aside.

Meanwhile, rinse and gently dry the sundried tomatoes.  Place tomatoes, parmesan cheese, pine nuts, balsamic vinegar, and garlic in a food processor and pulse until finely ground.  With the processor on, slowly pour in the olive oil and continue to process until ingredients are incorporated.

Combine the pasta and tomato mixture and stir to combine.  Add reserved pasta water, 1/4 cup at a time and stir until pasta is evenly coated.  Add more water as needed.  Stir in arugula, until just wilted, adding more pasta water as needed.  Season with salt and pepper, top with goat cheese and serve.

Recipe source: adapted from America's Test Kitchen, Best Simple Recipes

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