Pasta Kermit

THE COOK’S TOUR

It is really easy being green (Sorry, Kermit.)! It’s also pretty simple to turn out this exceptionally fast meal, especially if you have Cypress Grove’s Sgt. Pepper® goat cheese.

This is a riff of a Parmigiano Reggiano dish common to Northern Italy, made a lot more interesting, with half the work, and (shh…) a bit healthier, too.

For my fellow home chefs who live outside of North America, any good herbed chèvre that you like will work fine.

There are lots of variations on this recipe. Feel free to riff away!

Prep & Cook Time:

15-20 min.

Serves

Four (4)

The Gear

  • Vitamix® Mixer, or similar high-speed;
  • Pasta pot
  • Wok, or deep sauté pan
  • Large microwave container with lid or a steamer;
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Large slotted spoon
  • Colander
  • Spatula
  • Tasting spoons

The Stuff

Base Sauce

  • 113 g. / 4 oz. Cypress Grove fresh chevre Sgt. Pepper® cheese disc
  • 300 g. / 10 oz. Organic Baby Spinach
  • Shredded Parmigiano Reggiano for topping.
  • Salt to taste
  • EVOO to thin, if necessary

Pasta

  • Water;
  • Kosher salt;
  • Orecchiette for four people (or any other pasta).

Variations

Meat (as pictured)

  • 1 lb. organic ground pork;
  • 4 to 6 g. of truffle salt;
  • Sprinkle of dried basil;
  • Sprinkle of dried oregano;
  • 30 ml/ 2 tbsp avocado oil, or rice bran oil, for sautéing.

Roasted Cauliflower

  • 1/2 Cauliflower head, top florets only, finely cut into pea sized bits. Reserve remainder to rice/chop finely for other dishes;
  • 4 to 6 g. of truffle salt;
  • Sprinkle of dried basil;
  • Sprinkle of dried oregano;
  • 30 ml/ 2 tbsp avocado oil for roasting.

The Steps

  • If using cauliflower, pre-heat your oven to 350Pre-heat your wok on high, or your sauté pan on medium-high. I prefer the wok because I want that “crispness” to the texture of the meat, to counter the soft sauce. Sautéing will take a bit longer;
  • Add water and kosher salt to your pasta pot. Set on HIGH;
  • Wash off your spinach in the colander. Drain. Put in your microwave dish;
  • Add the Sgt. Pepper cheese to your blender;
  • When the wok is hot, add rice bran oil (It has the highest smoke point, to avoid toxing out your oil), and sauté the ground pork, breaking it up into as small bits as possible. Add the truffle salt, basil, and oregano.
  • When the water achieves a rolling boil, add the pasta to your pasta pot. Set the recommended time for that type of pasta;
  • If your meat or vegetable is done, keep warm on a low setting;
  • With four minutes left, put the spinach in your microwave dish into the microwave. Heat on the fresh-vegetable setting, or for 3:20 at a power of 70% (Power-7);
  • Drain the pasta. Add to your large mixing bowl;
  • Add the add-ons: Meat; vegetable; etc.;
  • Put the spinach in the blender with the cheese disc. If it’s very dry, add 15 ml/ 1 tbsp of vegetable broth, or water. Pureé by starting slow, and then integrating until the spinach is fully emulsified into the cheese. No little spinach bits. Takes about 1 min. to 90 seconds;
  • Add the sauce to the pasta. Use the spatula to get it all out of the mixer. Toss with tongs (long noodles), or the spatula (small noodles), to integrate;
  • Plate, and sprinkle with the shredded Parmigiano Reggiano, then serve.

Wine Pairing

This pairs well with a nice, light white.

Pinot Grigio would be my call. A dry one, like Santa Margherita, would help contrast against the heavier cheese element in the pasta, clearing the palate, and opening up the next delicious bite!

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