mother’s day pasta: orecchiette with goat cheese and peas

I wanted to do something nice for my mom this past Mother’s Day and considering that she loves creamy pastas, this recipe seemed like the right way to go.

Whole-Grain Orecchiette with Goat Cheese and Peas (somewhat based on this recipe from Delish)

13 oz. (about 1 box) of whole-grain orecchiette
3-4 cloves of garlic
3-5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 lb. of frozen peas
6-8 oz. of softened goat cheese
salt and pepper, to taste

Boil water in a medium pot on high.  Add 2-3 teaspoons of salt.
Crush, chop or mince the garlic. In an 8-10 inch skillet, combine garlic and oil.  Cook on medium until slightly golden and aromatic, occasionally stirring.  Add pepper and salt (about 1/8 teaspoon of each).
Add pasta to boiling water.  Cook 1 minute less than the minimum time the label directs. 
Add peas.  Cook 2-3 minutes longer.
Drain pasta and peas, but reserve 1-1 1/2 cups of pasta water.
Place pasta back in the same pot and add in goat cheese and a little bit of pasta water (be sure to add the water in just a bit at a time, until the cheese is melted and the it is the consistency you desire). 
Add in garlic mixture and combine.

This is ideal if you want a light (lighter than say, alfredo), cheesy, flavorful pasta.  I used a liberal amount of goat cheese and yet it turned out very mild with just a hint of pungency.  My mom is not a goat cheese lover, but she really enjoyed this (as did I!).

On another note, she had a very relaxing day doing exactly what she wanted to be doing.

-jillian m.

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