The cupboards and fridge are starting to look a little bare — which is good! — and cobbling together an actual meal is getting harder. Not only am I getting tired of trying to figure out my own never-ending episode of one-woman Iron Chef (walleye, edamame, and cabbage???), I’m tired of doing dishes.
When I came across some crumbled goat cheese leftover from a salad from the weekend, I was excited to have a new ingredient! Even better, I made lunch in one pot and one bowl. Add fork. Eat. It was good, too.
It’s a simple dish of pasta, peas (I used frozen because we have to use them up!), goat cheese, a splash of lemon juice, salt, pepper, basil, and mint. It takes the same amount of time as making a box of Mac ‘n’ Cheese; just swap out “chop herbs” for “cut off hunk of butter.” Add the pasta and peas to boiling water (both the penne I used and the peas said to boil for 6 minutes) and cook until pasta is done. Reserve up to a cup of pasta water before draining pasta/pea combo.
In your pasta bowl, sprinkle a few tablespoons of goat cheese. Add a little pasta water and stir until goat cheese is fairly melted. Add pasta and peas, tossing to coat. Add more pasta water if needed (add more than you think you need as the pasta will absorb it and dry out) and a splash of lemon juice to really make the peas stand out. Top with salt, pepper, and fresh minced basil and mint.
Ideally it would contain some onion or garlic, but that would require another pan. A little garlic on top wouldn’t hurt, or some scallions. Add enough salt and you’ll be fine.
Creamy One-Pot Penne with Peas
3/4 cup dried penne pasta
1/2 cup frozen peas
1-2 ounces goat cheese
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon fresh basil, minced
1 teaspoon fresh mint, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
In a small or medium saucepan, bring salted water to a boil. Add pasta and peas. Return to a boil and follow instructions on pasta package. Reserve 1/2 to 1 cup pasta water. Drain pasta and peas.
Crumble goat cheese in a pasta bowl. Mix in a few tablespoons of the reserved pasta water until mixture forms a paste. Thin with more pasta water if needed. Add pasta and peas to cheese and stir until coated. Add a splash of lemon juice and mix well. Top with salt, pepper, and basil and mint.