This is one of my favorite quick diner recipes because it takes all of 10 minutes to prepare, and the creamy mild sauce, made in the mixing bowl, will welcome any soft-leaved herbs you have on hand.
Herb and Goat Cheese Pasta
• 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
• 1/2 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
• 3 ounces mild soft goat cheese (chèvre)
• 1/4 to 1/2 cup coarsely chopped soft-leaved herbs, such as basil, parsley, chives, marjoram, tarragon, chervil or dill (use no more than 2 tablespoons of strong-flavored herbs like marjoram or tarragon)
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
• 12 ounces fettuccine noodles, preferably fresh
• Freshly ground black pepper
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Put butter in a large stainless steel mixing bowl and set it on top of the boiling water. When butter has melted, remove bowl and stir in ricotta, goat cheese, herbs and salt.
2. Boil pasta until tender but still slightly firm, about 2 to 4 minutes for fresh or 8 to 10 minutes for dried. Scoop a cup of the cooking water from the pot to thin the sauce, then drain the noodles.
3. Using tongs, toss pasta with ricotta and herbs along with as much of the reserved pasta water necessary to create a creamy sauce. Grind black pepper on top and serve right away in warm bowls. Makes 4 servings
Jerry Traunfeld, author of The Herbal Kitchen (William Morrow, 2005), is the former executive chef of the Herbfarm restaurant in Woodinville, Washington. He received the James Beard Award for Best American Chef of the Northwest in 2000.
Click here for the original article, Food Pairings: Fresh Herbs and Artisanal Cheese.