Sunday, May 31, 2015

Farfalle with Chevre Crème, Spinach and Pimiento

     A Simple Comfortable French Style Pasta!
     The French word "Chevre" means a cheese that is made with goat milk, but Chevre usually refers to soft fresh goat milk cheese.  Chevre has a natural tangy flavor that tastes nice with spinach.
     Chevre cheese contains no fat, so it does not melt when it is heated.  Chevre will only soften when heat is applied.  When making a simple crème sauce with Chevre, it takes a little bit of time and effort to combine the cheese and cream.  Slow simmering, while constantly whisking the sauce, is the only way to incorporate the Chevre with the cream.
     French chefs seem to favor using a few select Italian pasta shapes.  Traditional Italian pastas are rarely served with a cream sauce.  On the other hand, French, German and American chefs often serve pasta with a cream sauce.  Some Italian pasta shapes, like Farfalle, do pick up a cream sauce nicely.  Farfalle also looks nice on a plate.
     The cardinal rule of Italian pasta is to only add enough sauce to coat the pasta with flavor.  The sauce should only cling to the pasta and it should not flood the plate.  
     Farfalle with Chevre Crème, Spinach and Pimiento:
     This recipe yields 1 portion.
     The sauce for this pasta recipe is a simple cream reduction.  Béchamel sauce can be used in place of cream if several portions of pasta are made at one time.
     Step 1:  Heat a sauté pan over medium/medium low heat.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of pomace olive oil.
     Add 1 clove of finely chopped garlic.
     Add 1 tablespoon of finely minced sweet vidalia onion or shallot.
     Sauté till the onions turn clear in color.
     Step 2:  Add 2 1/2 cups of fresh baby spinach leaves.  (Remove any lengthy stems.)
     Sauté and stir, till the spinach wilts.
     Transfer the spinach to a pan and spread the spinach out, so it cools quickly.
     Set the wilted spinach aside.
     Step 3:  Cook 1 portion of farfalle pasta in boiling water, till it is cooked al dente.  Be sure to stir the pasta with a wooden pasta stick occasionally.
     *The sauce can be made while the pasta cooks!
     Step 4:  Place a sauté pan over medium/medium low heat.
     Add 3/4 cup of cream.
     Add 1/4 cup of milk.
     Bring the cream to a gentle boil.
     Step 5:  Reduce the temperature to medium low heat.
     Add 1 pinch of Herbes Du Provence.
     Add 1 pinch of white pepper.  (Add no salt!  Salt will detract from the chevre cheese flavor.)
     Add 2 ounces of soft fresh Chevre cheese slices.
     Stir with a whisk, till the chevre cheese softens and becomes part of the sauce.
     Step 6:  Gently simmer and reduce the sauce, till it is a medium thin consistency that will easily cling to the pasta.
     Step 7:  Reduce the temperature to very low heat.
     Add 10 to 12 torn Italian Parsley leaves.
     Add 1 tablespoon of chopped roasted peeled pimiento.
     Add the reserved wilted spinach.
     Step 8:  *The farfalle pasta should be cooked al dente by this time.
     Drain the water off of the pasta.
     Add the farfalle pasta to the sauce in the pan.
     Toss the sauce and pasta together.
     Step 9:  Mound the pasta on a plate.
     Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of chopped roasted peeled pimiento over the pasta.
     This simple pasta tastes nice and it will impress guests!

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