A few weeks ago my in-laws came to stay with us for a long weekend. They’re great company and always welcome in our home, so it was nice to catch up with them. As is often the case we find that having friends and family staying with us makes us appreciate our local area more. We visit places that we might otherwise overlook as we try to do something a little different with our guests.
It’s not difficult to find somewhere nice to go in these parts – we’re surrounded by attractive towns, beautiful coastline and rolling countryside. That weekend we decided to combine all three and take a trip to Lymington in the New Forest.
Despite having had a good start to the summer, the weather over that weekend was a bit of a disappointment – mostly thanks to strong winds and occasional showers. The people of Lymington weren’t going to let it spoil their fun though, as they were running a seafood festival alongside the regular Saturday market. It takes really severe weather to stop us Brits having fun!
You may be wondering how this pre-amble links to this recipe for Goats’ Cheese, Pancetta and Mushroom Pasta… The common link is the Saturday market I mentioned in the last paragraph. As with all markets there are some great deals to be had if you’re there at the right time. Suffice it to say I managed to pick up a one kilogram log of goats’ cheese for an absolute song. Only later did I realise just how long it would take to work our way through that without getting bored…
This Goats’ Cheese Pasta barely made a dent in the cheese, but damn it tastes good. Not that there was much of a risk that it wouldn’t when you look at the ingredient list. The combination of pancetta, mushroom and onion would have made a tasty dish on it own. The addition of the cheese bringing a lovely creamy texture and sharp flavour that just makes them all sing.
My one word of caution with this recipe is to stick to a small amount of goats’ cheese. In the past I’ve often been tempted to add a bit more and it can quickly turn into too much. As such a strong flavour it can quickly overpower everything if you’re not careful… Plus you can always crumble a little more over the top at the end if you think it’s really needed.
Quick Goats’ Cheese, Pancetta & Mushroom Pasta
- 150 g Dried Pasta
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 75 g Pancetta Cubes
- 1 clove Garlic peeled and crushed
- 1 Shallot peeled and chopped
- 100 g Chestnut Mushrooms coarsely chopped
- 2 tbsp Vermouth or Dry White Wine
- 100 ml Good Quality Chicken Stock
- 50 g Soft Goats’ Cheese crumbled
- Freshly Chopped Parsley to garnish
- Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil. Add the pasta and cook according the the pack instructions.
- Meanwhile, heat a deep frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and pancetta cubes, then fry for 5 minutes or so, until starting to brown on the edges.
- Add the garlic to the pan and fry for a further minute or so, until fragrance, then follow with the shallot and mushrooms. Stir to coat everything in the oil and garlic mixture, then reduce the heat and cook for a further 5 minutes until the shallot and mushroom has started to soften.
- Check the pasta at this stage. If it’s cooked then drain the pasta, reserving some of the cooking water in a bowl, then return it to the saucepan to keep warm. If it’s not cooked then keep an eye on it, as you want it to retain some bite.
- Turn up the heat on the frying pan, then add the vermouth and allow to bubble vigorously for a minite or so. Then add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Crumble in half of the goats’ cheese and stir through the other ingredients, allowing it to melt into the stock creating a creamy sauce. Add a tablespoon or two of the the pasta cooking sauce to the sauce to create a pourable consistency.
- Add the cooked and drained pasta to the sauce and toss until it’s well coated. Divide between two bowls and serve topped with the remaining goats’ cheese and some freshly chopped parsley.
|Estimated Values per Serving|
|of which Saturates||13||g|
|of which Sugars||4||g|
|Note: Nutritional information shown is per serving of the above recipe. Any side dishes or garnishes shown in photos are not included in these values, unless they are specifically listed as part of the recipe.|