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meatless monday: spiced butter pasta with vegetables and goat cheese

July 5, 2010

When I first saw this dish on 101 cookbooks, I was put off a bit by the laundry list of ingredients.  However daunting the list, I was amazed by how fragrant they all were when combined.  My reservations were ill-founded.  The flavors worked beautifully together.  A little spice on the back-end, perfectly balanced.  The fresh herbs bring it all together.

The twist of zucchini, snow peas and goat cheese were my own addition and I loved them.  The addition of saffron into the butter as opposed to the pasta was merely a mistake, but what a delicious mistake it was.

spice butter pasta with vegetables and goat cheese
adapted from 101 cookbooks


spiced butter

  • 1 stick / 4 oz / 100 g butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 medium shallots, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (less if you prefer less heat)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon+ fine grain sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
  • pinch of salt
  • black pepper

1/2 pound / 8 oz / 225 g dried pasta
1/2 pound / 8 oz / 225 g zucchini, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
1/4 pound/4 oz/112g snow peas, halved

splash of cream
1/2 cup / 2 oz / 60 g pine nuts, toasted and chopped
100 g/3oz goat cheese
2 tablespoons roughly chopped mint
2 tablespoons roughly chopped parsley


  1. Place a large pot of water over high heat and bring to a boil.
  2. In the meantime, use a mortar and pestle to crush the saffron and salt into a fine powder. Set aside.
  3. To make the spiced butter: Place the butter and olive oil in a frying pan and cook the shallots gently for about 10 minutes, or until they soften and the butter browns just a bit. Stir in all the spices, the saffron salt, and a bit of freshly ground black pepper, remove from heat (but keep warm).
  4. Salt the water generously and cook the pasta until al dente.
  5. About 1 minute before the pasta has finished cooking, add the vegetables.
  6. Drain and return the pasta and vegetables to the pot.
  7. Add a pinch of salt.
  8. Pour about half of the spiced butter over the pasta, add a small splash of cream, and toss well.
  9. Taste to determine if you need to add more spiced butter or salt.
  10. Add more butter until it is to your liking,
    • Important: Reserve any leftover for later use–we used our leftovers to add to couscous later in the week and it was a good, if not better than the first time around.
  11. Serve the pasta in a large bowl, sprinkle with pine nuts, goat cheese, and chopped herbs.
  12. Toss well before serving.
2 Comments leave one →
  1. Nessie permalink
    July 14, 2010 11:13 pm

    Yum! I can’t wait to try this. Thanks for posting.

    • July 14, 2010 11:21 pm

      This is honestly one of my favorites. I just made it again this week because we had a bunch of shallots that needed a purpose in life. It’s so wonderful.

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