Last week Serious Eats posted a recipe for Pasta with Broccoli, Goat Cheese, and Oregano (that was inspired by a Gordon Ramsay dish). I decided to take my own spin on it and made Pasta with Broccoli, Goat Cheese and Shrimp. It was an easy dinner to prepare, and I particularly liked how it incorporates my newest favorite flavor combination of shrimp and goat cheese (remember the Woodward-inspired salad I have been obsessed with for the last few months?).
I also particularly liked how my recipe was a variation of the Serious Eats recipe which was also a variation of the original Gordon Ramsay recipe. It reminds me how everyone can always tweak a dish to make it more personal. I do like following recipes but sometimes when I don’t have all the ingredients on hand, or if I feel like it is lacking something, then I follow my gut and improvise with what I have in my kitchen. In this case, I made a few changes: I used whole wheat fusilli pasta, used herbed goat cheese (basil and roasted garlic) and omitted the oregano, added red pepper flakes and garlic, plus shrimp for some protein.
Pasta with Broccoli, Goat Cheese and Shrimp
- 1 pack frozen broccoli florets or 1/2 lb fresh broccoli
- 2/3 lb dried whole wheat fusilli (or just estimate it so that it will be about 4 cups cooked pasta)
- 1/3 lb shrimp
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
- 5 oz herbed goat cheese
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 1/4 tablespoon red pepper flakes
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Grated Parmesan, for finishing
Cook the pasta and frozen broccoli according to package directions. Before draining the pasta, make sure to reserve 1/2 cup pasta cooking water.
Use a big skillet or pot, and saute garlic in olive oil over medium heat until fragrant. Add red pepper flakes and stir for about 30 seconds, then add the shrimp. Cook until the shrimp is no longer pink. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, broccoli, and pasta to the skillet. Turn the heat down to low, then add the goat cheese and the reserved pasta water. Toss and stir, until the goat cheese melts into a silky, creamy sauce.
Season with some salt and lots of pepper, and served with grated Parmesan cheese. Makes 4 servings (or 3, if you and your dining companions are hungry).
The lemon juice and zest lend a nice pop of freshness to this pasta dish, and I’m glad I added garlic and red pepper flakes for more flavor. The whole dish only took less than thirty minutes to prepare and required minimal clean-up, so it’ll be a great weeknight dinner. Thanks to Serious Eats for the inspiration!
What was the last pasta dish you made? Any favorite recipes you want to share in the comments section?