Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Spring Pasta with Peas, Zucchini, and Goat Cheese

Having not gotten the spring veggie pasta dish that I wanted at Community, I decided to make my own! Using fresh rigatoni and avoiding anything truffle-y, I took on fresh peas, zucchini, lemon, and radicchio for this Sunday dinner. I like to lightly saute my veggies until just softened, but you can cook them longer. You can make this dish vegan and omit the goat cheese, but I thought the lemon-sauteed veggies and the tangy goat cheese crumbles made a great combo; if you're looking for an extra protein boost, saute your favorite veggie chick'n strips with the remaining lemon and serve over the pasta- I will post that chik'n recipe soon!

Having popped open a fruity bottle of Riesling, I'd highly recommend pairing the pasta with this or a similar vino. Now this is what spring dinners are made of! For real.

The Whats:

* 1/2 package of fresh rigatoni pasta (feel free to double everything if you're cooking for more than 2!)
* 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 
* 1 large zucchini, cut into chunks
* 1 cup fresh peas (you can use frozen if you can't find fresh)
* 1/2 small head of radicchio, chopped
* juice of half a large lemon
* salt & pepper to taste
* a pinch of thyme
* 1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese

The Hows:

1) Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil; add the rigatoni and cook until al dente, about 5 to 8 minutes (if you've frozen the fresh pasta, allow 10 minutes). Drain and toss with some olive oil to prevent sticking. Set aside.

2) As the pasta is cooking, heat 3 tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the zucchini and peas to the pan; stir in the salt, pepper, thyme, and lemon juice and cook for about 8 minutes, or until just softened. Add the pasta to the skillet, toss to mix, and cook for an additional minute.

3) Spread chopped radicchio over plate; top with vegetable pasta mix. Sprinkle goat cheese over pasta dishes- if you prefer, you can use shredded Asiago or the like. Serves 2; if using all the pasta, serves 4.

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