Easy Goat Cheese Pasta

Ditch the sad jar of marinara sauce and try this easy, fresh Goat Cheese Pasta for dinner tonight!

Easy Goat Cheese Pasta featured image above

You know those nights (usually weeknights!) where you come home and realize that a) you’re starving b) you have neither a ton of time nor a ton of energy? Instead of grabbing the same jar of marinara (no offense, marinara!) and heating it up while you boil pasta, think about making this easy, quick and super fresh Goat Cheese Pasta. Really, the main thing is that you have some goat cheese handy, so plan ahead! Like a lot of traditional Italian cooking, this pasta dish is fresh, comes together quickly, and is actually fairly healthy.

Once you sit down with a warm bowl of this Easy Goat Cheese Pasta, you will be so glad you have a nourishing, delicious meal that is a step above the usual pasta with jarred sauce. The tomato flavor is incredible – and is just a can of crushed tomatoes. The usual garlic, parmesan, and basil found in so many Italian dishes boost the flavor as well. But what makes this dish so tasty is the incorporation of goat cheese. Not just a spread for apps, goat cheese is a perfect ingredient to incorporate into pasta, as it melts gently, giving the sauce a smooth texture; the goat cheese’s flavor gives the whole dish a kick as well that takes this up a notch from your usual weeknight dish. It doesn’t hurt either that this meal is one you can have on the table in under 30 minutes!

Why You Will Love Goat Cheese

You may have to look in a different section of your grocery to find goat cheese. It is often with specialty cheeses or near the deli of most groceries. Sold in either a little log or tub, goat cheese is a versatile ingredient that can be used a variety of ways. What makes it different from cow’s milk cheese (like cheddar)? It is easier to digest than a lot of cow’s milk cheese, making it a good choice for those who are lactose-sensitive. The flavor is bright and tangy, yet it has a creamy texture – but not as creamy as cream cheese. Goat cheese is a good source of protein, calcium and healthy fats – part of the fat in goat cheese is from its capric acid, which does actually have some anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Ingredients

  • 4 oz dried pasta
  • 2 oz goat cheese crumbled
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes (14 ounces)
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 handful fresh basil
  • Pinch of salt and black pepper
  • Freshly grated parmesan for serving
Easy Goat Cheese Pasta ingredients

How to Make Easy Goat Cheese Pasta

Step 1: Fill a large pot with salted water and bring it to a boil. Add the dried pasta and cook it al dente according to package directions.

Easy Goat Cheese Pasta step 1

Step 2: While the pasta is cooking, add the olive oil in a medium saucepan and heat on medium-high heat. Add the chopped onions and sauté for 3-4 minutes until translucent. Stir in the minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Have the can of crushed tomatoes open and ready to go so your garlic doesn’t burn.

Easy Goat Cheese Pasta step 2

Step 3: Add in the crushed tomatoes and season with dried oregano and red pepper flakes. Reduce the heat and simmer the sauce for about 10 minutes.

Easy Goat Cheese Pasta step 3

Step 4: Stir in the crumbled goat cheese and let it melt in the sauce over low heat for 2 minutes. Add the chopped basil. take the saucepan from the heat and add the cooked pasta. Season with a pinch of salt and black pepper.

Easy Goat Cheese Pasta step 4

Step 5: Serve the goat cheese pasta on plates and top with freshly grated parmesan cheese and basil leaves. Enjoy!

Easy Goat Cheese Pasta step 5

FAQs & Tips

How to Make Ahead and Store?

You can make the sauce portion of this recipe ahead, let it cool, and refrigerate for up to 3-4 days or freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. The pasta is best made right before serving, and you can always thicken up the thawed sauce with a tablespoon of pasta water. Any leftovers can keep in the fridge for 3-4 days.

What exactly is pasta cooked al dente?

Al dente is Italian for “to the tooth,” meaning you still need teeth to chew the pasta – it should not be gummy or mushy, which happens when it’s over-cooked. Leave those dentures in! Somewhere between crunchy and too soft is the best answer. Most pasta packaging instructions give specific cooking times for that particular cut of pasta with the al dente texture as the goal. Check the packaging for an exact time range for cooking.

Does goat cheese actually melt?

While you may be more used to goat cheese served cold, as a topper for a cracker or in a salad, yes, it does melt. Not unlike Simone Biles nailing a dismount, goat cheese performs well under pressure. in this case, the pressure being the heat of the tomato sauce and pasta. It melts without the stringy quality of cow’s milk cheese, and mostly incorporates smoothly into the sauce. At the very least, you will notice little flecks of it in the dish.

Why is my sauce runny?

If your sauce is on the runny side, you have the fix right there in your pasta pot – stir in about a tablespoon or so of the hot pasta water. I always reserve a bit of pasta water when making a homemade sauce; it is the perfect thickener. That is because the starch from the pasta leeches into the water as it boils, which is what a thin sauce needs. If you’ve already dumped your pasta water when reading this, tough luck. Just kidding! You can add a bit more goat cheese or even use a little corn starch (follow instructions on the container). But overall, the sauce for Goat Cheese Pasta is not a heavy, cloying sauce, so it is ok if it’s on the thin side, as long as it coats the pasta well.

What can I add to this dish?

If you have some grilled or sauteed chicken breast, you could top the dish with that, or if you want more veggies, you could also add mushrooms or spinach. For the mushrooms, add some sliced mushrooms in Step 2. For the spinach, toss in a handful at the end and let it wilt. But the recipe is truly delicious as-is!

Easy Goat Cheese Pasta featured image below

Serving Suggestions

On a weeknight, Easy Goat Cheese Pasta is great by itself. If you have the time and inclination, for a more leisurely dinner, adding some sides like garlic bread or roasted green beans with garlic works well. For salads, just a Caesar salad would be great alongside Easy Goat Cheese Pasta. Any side dish you add, have it ready to go, because the pasta comes together so quickly. The dish itself is so simple and fresh that you really don’t want to detract from it with anything too heavy or with strong flavors.

Easy Goat Cheese Pasta featured image below
Easy Goat Cheese Pasta featured image above

Easy Goat Cheese Pasta

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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 363 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 4 oz dried pasta
  • 2 oz goat cheese crumbled
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes (14 oz)
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 handful fresh basil
  • Pinch of salt and black pepper
  • Freshly grated parmesan for serving

Instructions
 

  • Fill a large pot with salted water and bring it to a boil. Add the dried pasta and cook it al dente according to package directions.
  • While the pasta is cooking, add the olive oil in a medium saucepan and heat on medium-high heat. Add the chopped onions and sauté for 3-4 minutes until translucent. Stir in the minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Add in the crushed tomatoes and season with dried oregano and red pepper flakes. Reduce the heat and simmer the sauce for about 10 minutes.
  • Stir in the crumbled goat cheese and let it melt in the sauce over low heat for 2 minutes. Add the chopped basil. take the saucepan from the heat and add the cooked pasta. Season with a pinch of salt and black pepper.
  • Serve the goat cheese pasta on plates and top with freshly grated parmesan cheese and basil leaves. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 363kcalCarbohydrates: 46gProtein: 13gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 110mgPotassium: 191mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 299IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 68mgIron: 2mg
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