A friend of mine recently started a goat farm in the Connecticut countryside, and after a recent visit I came back to New York with more raw goat cheese than I knew what to do with.
In an effort to consume it all I've been adding it to everything I eat and have come up with some exciting results. The following recipe combines the mild, tangy flavor of goat cheese with the bright flavor of mint. This is a great way to use up extra mint if you have some lying around.
I like to call this "inside-out ravioli," because the taste of the sauce reminds me of a ravioli stuffing. The peas hide in and peek out of the rigatoni and the addition of the mint results in a beautiful dish. The goat cheese makes the sauce taste rich, but because I used low-fat milk the sauce feels light and fresh.
4 cups of pasta
For the sauce
2 cloves garlic
1 tbl butter or olive oil
1/2 cup milk (use whole milk or cream if you want a thicker sauce)
2 oz goat cheese
1/4 cup peas
1/2 bunch of fresh mint
1/4 t salt
1/4 t pepper
shredded parmesan cheese (to garnish)
Cook the pasta according to the directions. In the mean time, mince the garlic and the mint.
When the pasta is almost ready, sauté the garlic over medium heat in a sauce pan with oil or butter for about three minutes.
Add the milk and the goat cheese, mashing the goat cheese against the pan. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, depending on how thick you want the sauce. (The sauce will not thicken very much if you use low-fat milk, so if you want a thicker, richer sauce, go for whole milk or cream.)
When the pasta is ready, strain into a colander and add to the sauce, along with the frozen peas. Stir until the pasta absorbs the sauce. Remove the mixture from the saucepan and add the mint.
Divide evenly into two bowls, garnishing each portion with a generous serving of parmesan cheese, and serve.