This is another one of those cleaning out the fridge recipes. I had this grand plan to make someone else’s goat cheese pasta recipe, but then it was the end of the week… and I was tired… So instead, I decided to challenge myself to generate a different pasta recipe with that goat cheese, using as many fridge ingredients as possible and as few dishes as possible. I’d heard about those one-pot pasta recipes and can totally understand the appeal but have always been concerned about the quality of the final product. This recipe isn’t quite to the level of dump everything in a pot and forget it, but it does only dirty the one pot, and it came out really tasty! I’ll call that a win!
Obviously, I was very CONFINED by what I had in my fridge and what I thought could reasonably be cooked in a single pot. I started with the pancetta for a fatty base, then cooked the available alliums (onions, leeks, garlic) in the fat, infusing with red pepper at the same time. After that, the pasta gets cooked in just enough liquid (might as well be chicken stock for extra flavor) and the “sauce” has to be composed of ingredients that don’t need cooking – melty goat cheese, frozen peas, and herbs.
One Pot Mac and Goat Cheese
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 4 oz pancetta
- ½ red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 leek, trimmed, cleaned, and thinly sliced into half moons
- ¼ tsp crushed red pepper
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 cups low sodium chicken stock
- 2.5 cups water
- 4.5 tsp kosher salt, divided
- 1 pound pasta, I used cavatappi
- 12 oz frozen peas
- 6 oz crème fraiche
- 4 oz goat cheese
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
- 2 Tbsp chopped parsley
- In a pasta pot, heat 1 olive oil over medium heat.
- Add pancetta and render fat, ~10 min. Remove pancetta to a paper towel lined plate.
- Add red onion to the pan and cook until caramelized, about 10 min.
- Add leeks, red pepper, and ½ tsp kosher salt and cook 5 min.
- Add garlic and cook 2 min until softened.
- Add chicken stock, water, and 2 tsp kosher salt, turn heat to high and bring to a boil.
- Add pasta and cook according to package directions, stirring frequently due to the low liquid volume.
- One minute before pasta is finished, add peas.
- Reduce heat to medium low then stir in crème fraiche, goat cheese, thyme, parsley, and 2 tsp kosher salt.
- Serve topped with pancetta.
The sourness of the goat cheese balanced really well with the sweet peas and the salty pancetta. The red pepper was just right, giving the sauce a nice amount of zing without overwhelming the other flavors. It worked well as leftovers too (using my leftover pasta trick). It’s so nice to not have to do a ton of dishes at the end of a meal.