meatless monday: spiced butter pasta with vegetables and goat cheese
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
- 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
- Place a large pot of water over high heat and bring to a boil.
- In the meantime, use a mortar and pestle to crush the saffron and salt into a fine powder. Set aside.
- 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).
- Salt the water generously and cook the pasta until al dente.
- About 1 minute before the pasta has finished cooking, add the vegetables.
- Drain and return the pasta and vegetables to the pot.
- Add a pinch of salt.
- Pour about half of the spiced butter over the pasta, add a small splash of cream, and toss well.
- Taste to determine if you need to add more spiced butter or salt.
- 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.
- Serve the pasta in a large bowl, sprinkle with pine nuts, goat cheese, and chopped herbs.
- Toss well before serving.