Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Goat Cheese Marinara and Veggie Spaghetti

Or Spring Spaghetti, if you will.

 Except that it's now June, and totally approaching onto summer months.  Thankfully, I think this pasta is very fitting for summer, too!

And listen, I know that pasta dish isn't the prettiest thing you will have ever seen.  I'm still mastering the whole "taking expert photos of food on my phone in really crappy dim kitchen lighting" thing.  Also, does creamy pasta ever photograph well?  Don't answer that.

But look at these pretty vegetable pictures!

Those ears of corn up there were the first ones of the season.  I saw them at the store and got so excited, I nearly squealed.  And then I sent husband an overly excited text shouting about fresh corn and cantaloupe.  When I got home later, he was like, oooohhhh, fresh ears of corn!  That makes more sense.  When I was like, excuse me? he explained that he thought I was getting excited about fresh frozen corn or some crap like that.  Who does he think I am?

Clearly he has learned nothing about me.  I care nothing for frozen vegetables.  Fresh on the other hand?  Fresh, I will get overly-excited about it.

Can you even believe the Farmer's Market will open in Salt Lake this weekend?!  It's like my birthday and Christmas combined.

But oh right, this pasta.  This creamy and fresh tasting spaghetti.

The goat cheese is what gives the sauce it's creaminess.  I'm not sure that's actually any healthier than a big glug of heavy cream, but I like to think it is.  Plus, so much more tangy flavor!

And in case you're wondering, I took a short cut and didn't make my own tomato sauce.  But when you have something as flip-your-lid good as this stuff?:

You won't want to make your own either.  Seriously, this Silver Palate San Marzano marinara is killer.  Like Grim Reaper proportions of killer.  You'll pay a bit of a pretty penny to obtain it.  But it's worth it. And if you're only feeding two, like me, it goes a really long way.  Try it at least once.

Goat Cheese Marinara and Veggie Spaghetti
Serves 2

1 corn cob
4 oz. spaghetti
5 stalks asparagus
1/4 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1-2 oz. goat cheese
1/2 c.  marinara sauce
olive oil
salt & pepper

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Prep your corn by peeling back the husk (but don't remove) and removing the silk.  Rub olive oil on the corn ear and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Return husk over corn, and place in the oven directly on the rack.  Allow to bake for 15-20 minutes, turning once, or until the corn is soft.  (Alternately, this can be done on an outdoor grill.  Or use frozen corn!  Heaven knows I have a bag in the freezer at all times for these situations.)  When corn is finished, remove the husk and cut the kernels off the ear.  Set kernels aside.

Meanwhile, while corn bakes, bring a pot of water to a boil, salt it well, and add the spaghetti.

Cut asparagus into 1-inch pieces.  Bring a shallow pot (or deep skillet) of water to boil (about one inch of water), salt the water, and allow the asparagus to par-boil for 3-5 minutes until just softened.  Drain and set aside.

Just about now, your spaghetti ought to be just al dente.  Drain, reserving some pasta water.

Wipe out your shallow pot/deep skillet, and put over medium heat.  Add a glug of olive oil and your chopped onion.  Season with salt and pepper and allow to soften and become transparent, a couple of minutes.  Then add your garlic and saute for 30 seconds.  Add goat cheese and a tablespoon or two of pasta water.  Melt the cheese into the pasta water to form a creamy sauce.  Then stir in the marinara, and mix well.  Add the corn, asparagus, and cooked pasta, mixing together  (I like to use tongs).  Let cook together for a few minutes so the pasta soaks up some of the sauce and everything warms through.  If the sauce gets too thick, you can add another dash or two of pasta water.

Transfer to plates, top with a little extra goat cheese, and serve!  With some lovely toasted crusty bread, because that would be amazing.

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