This one-pot, easy creamy goat cheese pasta with spinach and tomatoes is perfect for when you're craving pasta with creamy sauce.
This Creamy Goat Cheese Pasta with Spinach and Tomatoes is the pasta dish I turn to when I'm feeling a creamy, cheesy pasta dish. It's like a grown-up, vegetable-enhanced mac and cheese!
Goat cheese is one of my favourite cheeses, so it's not wonder I wanted to find a way to enjoy it with pasta as well. The one little problem with goat cheese though, is that, when used on it's own, it doesn't really make a creamy sauce. That's where the cream cheese in this recipe comes in. It brings the same tangy flavour, with the creamy texture.
Add in lots of baby spinach and fresh cherry tomatoes and you have a meatless pasta dish that is great as a main dish or as a side for the Summer's grilled meat.
Cook's Notes for Creamy Goat Cheese Pasta with Spinach and Tomatoes
This pasta is best enjoyed fresh. While left-overs can be re-heated and enjoyed, the lovely creaminess of the sauce tends to lessen as it sits in the fridge.
You can replace the spinach in this one with watercress or arugula, if you prefer.
I like to use various colours of cherry tomatoes for this one if I can.
My Three Top Tips for Delicious Pasta Dishes
My pasta dish cooking technique has evolved over the years, to include a couple of techniques that I think produce the most satisfying pasta dishes ...
1. Be sure to generously salt your pasta cooking water, to bring lots of flavour to your finished dish. It's adequately salted when it "tastes like the ocean".
2. Rather than draining pasta in the sink, I scoop the cooked pasta right out of the boiling water with a spider strainer (or tongs, for long pasta) and put it directly into the hot sauce. Adding hot pasta to the sauce helps the pasta to absorb the flavours of the sauce more easily. It also allows for having the pasta-cooking water handy, in case you need to add some to thin your pasta sauce. Be sure to still drain the pasta well in the spoon before adding to the pasta, to avoid watering down your sauce.
3. I always cook the pasta with the sauce in a hot skillet (or saucepan) for several minutes before serving. I've found that the perfect pasta dish needs to come together in a hot pan first, not in the serving bowl.
Simply add the hot pasta to the hot sauce and cook, stirring, for just a couple of minutes. Take the time to taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning, as needed, as well. If you sauce thickens or tightens up during this last short cooking, add a splash of your pasta cooking water to loosen it up.
To make sure I don't dirty another pan, I always start my sauce in a large enough skillet or pot so that it will comfortably hold my cooked pasta as well, when it is cooked and ready to be added to the pot.
Creamy Goat Cheese pasta with Spinach and Tomatoes
- 1 lb pappardelle pasta (or other long pasta)
- 3 oz goat cheese
- 3 oz cream cheese
- 2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup basil and parsley (coarsely chopped, lightly packed)
- 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp salt (plus more to taste)
- Freshly ground pepper
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- 2 cups baby spinach (lightly packed)
- 8-10 cherry tomatoes (halved)
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (for serving)
- Boil pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water according to package directions, usually about 11 minutes, or until al dente.
- Meanwhile, combine cheeses, milk, fresh herbs, flour, juice, salt and red pepper flakes in a blender. Blend until fairly smooth.
- Place spinach in a colander. When pasta is cooked, pour some of the hot pasta water over spinach to wilt. Set aside. Continue to drain pasta.
- Pour mixture from blender into the now empty pasta pot and return to medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes or until sauce is bubbling and thickened.
- Add pasta to sauce. Stir constantly for 5 minutes or until pasta is hot and well-coated with sauce. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in cherry tomatoes and wilted spinach. Serve immediately garnished with tomato and gratings of Parmesan.