A lot of the meals I make are basically my favourite ingredients thrown together over pasta. And often they end up being less than the sum of their parts – just because I love butternut squash and I love brie doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll go together. And in that example it definitely doesn’t mean they’ll go together, lesson well and truly learnt.
But with this recipe; boy do they all go together.
Goat’s cheese, like mushrooms, is something I’ve only recently learnt to love. I used to always order it in restaurants because it’s served with so many things that I do like – pine nuts and peppers and spinach and beetroot – but I just found it unbearable. Well, through pure persistence I have now come to think of it as one of the most delicious ingredients in the world and added it to the list of slightly extravagant treats I spurge on once a week to add a little excitement to my dinners.
Honey on pasta was something I often got given for lunch at a friend’s house growing up and it’s kind of stuck with me as a normal thing to do. But I think maybe it’s not. If I were to put honey in a regular ol’ pasta recipe you’d probably think I was just plain weird but goat’s cheese and honey is a classic pairing so here I can get away with it. And maybe sell you on its merits. It also caramelises the onions into realms of deliciousness beyond description.
Eagle eyed readers might notice that whereas the recipe features red pepper, the photos do not. And that’s because the only time I’ve made this during daylight I’d already eaten all the red pepper I had in the house. But I just can’t be posting grainy photos.
130g whole-wheat pasta
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
2 tsp runny honey
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped
6 mushrooms, stalks removed and sliced
100g goat’s cheese, diced
Salt and pepper
Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and cook the pasta according to pack instructions.
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat.
Add the fennel seeds and fry them for two minutes.
Add the onion and red pepper.
Once the onion has started to soften add 1 teaspoon honey and continue to fry until the onion starts to brown around the edges.
Add the garlic and chilli to the saucepan, mix to coat everything and fry for two minutes.
Add the mushrooms and fry for another two minutes.
Drain the pasta and add into the frying pan with the goat’s cheese, 1 teaspoon honey, 1 tablespoon olive oil and seasoning. Stir until everything has mixed together and the goat’s cheese has melted into a sauce.