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Goat Cheese and Mushroom Orecchiette Recipe


Goat Cheese and Mushroom Orecchiette
Goat Cheese and Mushroom Orecchiette Recipe

The orecchiette, tender and whimsical like little ear-shaped pastas should be, cradle a medley of sautéed mushrooms. These earthy delights, kissed by the warmth of garlic and herbs, sing in perfect harmony with creamy goat cheese. A handful of fresh basil leaves adds a touch of aromatic freshness, while a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar ties it all together.


This Goat Cheese and Mushroom Orecchiette isn't just a meal; it's a love letter to Italian cuisine, an ode to the pleasures of a well-crafted pasta dish. Each bite is a journey through the lush hills of Italy, where ingredients are revered, and flavours are celebrated.


As I savour this dish, I'm reminded that food transcends boundaries, that it's a universal language of joy and connection. It's an invitation to gather, to indulge, and to savour the simple pleasures of life.


So, let us twirl our forks and embark on a culinary serenade that celebrates the artistry of Goat Cheese and Mushroom Orecchiette.



Goat Cheese and Mushroom Orecchiette Recipe for 4 People


Ingredients:


For the Orecchiette:

- 12 ounces (340g) orecchiette pasta

- Salt for boiling water


For the Goat Cheese and Mushroom Sauce:

- 2 tablespoons olive oil

- 1 pound (450g) mixed mushrooms (cremini, shiitake, or your choice), sliced

- 3 cloves garlic, minced

- 1/4 cup dry white wine (optional)

- 4 ounces (115g) goat cheese, crumbled

- 1/2 cup heavy cream

- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

- Fresh basil leaves, torn or chiffonade, for garnish

- Aged balsamic vinegar, for drizzling


Instructions:


1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the orecchiette according to the package instructions until al dente. Reserve about 1/2 cup of pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta.


2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the sliced mushrooms and sauté until they release their moisture and start to brown, about 5-7 minutes.


3. Add the minced garlic to the skillet and sauté for another minute until fragrant.


4. If using white wine, pour it into the skillet and cook for a few minutes until it's mostly evaporated.


5. Reduce the heat to low, then add the crumbled goat cheese and heavy cream to the skillet. Stir until the cheese is melted and the sauce is creamy. If the sauce is too thick, you can add a bit of the reserved pasta cooking water to reach your desired consistency.


6. Season the sauce with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.


7. Add the cooked orecchiette to the skillet and toss to coat the pasta evenly with the creamy mushroom and goat cheese sauce.


8. Divide the Goat Cheese and Mushroom Orecchiette among four plates or bowls.


9. Scatter torn or chiffonade basil leaves over the pasta for a burst of aromatic freshness.


10. Finish the dish with a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar, creating a delightful sweet and tangy contrast.


Suggested Side Dishes:

- A simple mixed green salad with lemon vinaigrette

- Roasted cherry tomatoes with garlic and herbs

- Garlic bread or crusty Italian bread for sopping up the creamy sauce


Equipment Needed:

- Large pot for boiling pasta

- Large skillet for sautéing mushrooms and making the sauce

- Tongs or pasta fork for tossing the pasta


Commonly Made Mistakes and Points of Care:

1. Pasta Doneness: Cook the orecchiette until al dente, as it will continue to cook briefly when combined with the sauce. Taste a piece to ensure the right texture.


2. Mushroom Sautéing: Allow the mushrooms to release their moisture and brown before adding garlic for the best flavour and texture.


3. Sauce Consistency: Adjust the sauce consistency with reserved pasta cooking water. It should coat the pasta evenly without being too thick or too thin.


4. Seasoning: Goat cheese can vary in saltiness, so taste the sauce and add salt and pepper as needed.


5. Basil: Tear or chiffonade the basil just before serving to preserve its freshness and aroma.


6. Balsamic Drizzle: Use a good-quality aged balsamic vinegar for the best flavour and presentation.


Indulge in the rustic elegance of Goat Cheese and Mushroom Orecchiette, and let its flavours transport you to the rolling hills of Italy. Savour the rich and creamy sauce, the earthy mushrooms, and the aromatic basil as you celebrate the joys of a well-prepared pasta dish. Buon appetito!

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