Who doesn't like macaroni? In my experience- not many! With this goat cheese macaroni you can transform a childhood favorite into a delicious culinary experience. Infused with the woodsy flavors of rosemary and the fresh, clean taste of spinach, a light coating of goat cheese gives the dish a delicate creaminess nearly impossible to resist. This recipe is perfectly measured for a romantic dinner for two, but can be easily doubled for a family feast! So get cooking and get lost in one of America's favorite comfort foods tonight!
1 uncooked chicken breast, sliced into 1/4" thin pieces
3-4 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup onion, minced
1 tbs. butter
1/2 lb pasta
1 cup cooked frozen spinach, thawed and drained
2 oz. goat cheese
3 tbs. grated parmesan cheese
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
-in a medium sized pan, add butter and 1.5 tbs. olive oil and warm over low heat
-add smashed garlic clove, 1/8 cup of the onions, and rosemary sprigs and cook for 15 minutes
-remove garlic clove and rosemary sprigs, leave oil in pan (do not throw out rosemary)
-raise heat to medium-low and add chicken to the pan for about 3 minutes (or until cooked through)
-remove chicken, leave oil in pan, and add minced garlic and the rest of the minced onions, saute for about 10 minutes
-in a large pot, cook pasta according to package directions
-before you drain the pasta, reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water
-place pasta back into the pot, add spinach, cooking water, goat cheese, and parmesan cheese
-remove the leaves from 1 or 2 of the cooked sprigs of rosemary and minced them, adding about 1 tsp. of the chopped rosemary to the pasta
-serve the pasta, garnish with a fresh sprig of rosemary and additional parmesan cheese
serves approximately 2
This recipe was inspired by the delicious goat cheese macaroni dinner I had at Michael Symon's Tremont restaurant, Lolita.
TIPS and ADAPTATIONS:
-Double the recipe to feed more
-Want it cow's milk free? Skip the butter and use olive oil instead.
-Can't find fresh rosemary? Use dried. Sprinkle about 1 tsp. on the chicken while it cooks, and an additional 2 tsp. mixed in when you add the spinach to the pot.
-You don't have to add spinach to your meal, BUT it does add great nutritional value and is a fresh tasted contrasting the rich creaminess of the goat cheese.
-Skip the chicken and make it vegetarian. You can also add additional veggies like sauteed summer squash, zucchini, mushrooms and eggplant.
-Use whatever pasta you please: penne, bowties, spirals, etc... whole wheat, regular, and even gluten free varieties like rice pasta!
-Try it with other herbs like sage and thyme in addition to the rosemary.