by Kate Heyhoe
Thanks to small, artisanal producers, mostly in California, Americans can now enjoy the same wonderful world of goat cheeses once known only in France, Italy and other parts of Europe.
In her book, The Food and Flavors of Haute Provence, Georgeanne Brennan describes how she and her family took up making goat cheese in the 1970's, learning the techniques from farmers, peasants and shepherds in Haute Provence. While many goat cheeses may be substituted for each other, it's difficult to substitute a cow's milk cheese for a goat cheese—the flavors and textures are just too distinctly different.
Here's her simple but oh-so satisfying recipe for Cherry Tomato Pasta with Fresh Goat Cheese, an excellent way to greet the spring season.
Serves 3 or 4
The fresh goat cheese added to the hot pasta and fresh tomatoes will melt and bind with the tomatoes' juice and olive oil to form a creamy yet delicate sauce.
1-1/2 cups halved, very ripe, sweet cherry tomatoes,
preferably a mixture of red and yellow
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup minced fresh basil
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
10 ounces dried fettuccine or other pasta
2 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
Place the cherry tomatoes in the bottom of a pasta serving bowl and stir in the garlic, salt, pepper, half of the basil, and the olive oil. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until just tender. Drain.
Immediately add the hot pasta to the bowl holding the tomatoes and stir in the goat cheese. Toss until the cheese has melted and a sauce has formed.
Garnish with the remaining basil and serve at once.
Place a goat cheese atop the tomatoes on each plate, then top the cheeses with the warm almonds. Serve immediately.
The Food and Flavors of Haute Provence
Publication Date: November 6, 1997
$24.95 hardcover, 319 pages
7x9-1/4. Line drawings throughout
Reprinted by permission.
This page originally published as a Global Gourmet Today column in 1998.
Copyright © 2007, Kate Heyhoe. All rights reserved.
This page modified January 2007
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