Saturday, October 20, 2012

Creamy Pasta With Tomato Confit And Fresh Goat Cheese

Yum, yum and more yum!  As I was making this,, I was thinking that it was more work than the average family would want to put into dinner.  I am thinking specifically of the time to quickly boil the tomatoes to peel them easily,the confit of tomatoes and the fairly long time of stirring the pasta to make it like risotto.  I was also convinced that the effort would not pay off in enough tasty dividends to be worth making it if you weren't obsessed with cooking like me.  WRONG!  I loved it.  It is going into the "mom's favorites' file.  The boy enjoyed it but is isn't going in his all time favorites file.  The baby girl like it too.  My husband is working, so he will have to try it reheated.  If you prep the tomatoes ahead of time, it would help at dinner time rush.  I also started the confit the tomatoes first, but they cooked as I was making the pasta and had the boy chop them right before I was ready for them.  It was a super dish.  While I consider it meatless, it is made with chicken stock.  Switch that out for a vegetarian friendly flavor (veggie, mushroom, tomato etc...) and it is a vegetarian friendly recipe.  Just make sure what ever broth you pick, it is low sodium.  I used low sodium and felt no need to salt the end dish.

Creamy Pasta With Tomato Confit And Fresh Goat Cheese

1 c  extra-virgin olive oil,for poaching
3    plum tomatoes—peeled* quartered and seeded
2    thyme sprigs
1    bay leaf
2    garlic cloves,minced
2 T  unsalted butter
1    small onion,coarsely chopped
Kosher salt
1/2 lb ditalini or other small-cut pasta (1 1/2 cups)
3 1/2 c  chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1/2 c  soft fresh goat cheese (4 ounces)
1/2 c  tightly packed freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (2 1/2 ounces) plus more for serving
Freshly ground pepper
2 T  snipped chives
2 T  finely shredded basil leaves
1. In a medium saucepan, combine the olive oil with the tomatoes,
thyme, bay leaf and half of the garlic and bring to a simmer. Cook over
low heat until the tomatoes are very tender, about 15 minutes. Discard
the thyme and bay leaf. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the tomatoes to
a work surface and coarsely chop them; reserve the olive oil for
another use.
2. In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Add the onion and a pinch of
salt and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, 5 minutes.
Add the pasta and cook, stirring, until golden in spots, about 2
minutes.  Add the remaining garlic; cook for 1 minute.
3. Add 1/2 cup of the chicken stock to the pasta and cook over
moderately high heat, stirring constantly, until nearly absorbed.
Continue adding the chicken stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring and
cooking until it is nearly absorbed between additions. The pasta is
done when it is al dente and suspended in a lightly thickened sauce,
about 17 minutes total.
4. Stir the tomatoes into the pasta. Off the heat, add the goat cheese
and Parmigiano-Reggiano and stir until melted. Season with salt and
pepper, stir in the chives and basil and serve right away, passing
additional Parmigiano-Reggiano at the table.

*The easiest way to peel tomatoes:

Get a pot of water on a low boil.  Cut an 'x' in the bottom of the tomato
Let the tomatoes boil about 45 seconds
Then place in a bowl of ice water. Peel from the 'x' at the bottom

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