On Friday nights, I'm exhausted by the work week I've just completed. I'm always happy to see that I've planned an easy and comforting meal for those nights. The ideal for me is to have a warm meal in minutes and watch a movie wrapped in a blanket.
This week, I left the planning somewhat open, but I knew that I had penne rigate in the cupboard and tomatoes and veggies. From other recipes, I had goat cheese and ricotta salata left, so a new pasta dish was born!
The beauty of pasta is that you don't need to know much about cooking to prepare a sauce of your choice with the pasta shape of your choice. It's always a wonderful fall-back.
We usually buy fresh pasta from our hippie friend at the farmer's market, but he told us the week before that he'd be spending some time in Amsterdam. We always miss his presence! He's become our weekly friend, the only person who noticed my husband's new glasses, the only person who could sense that my husband and I had been fighting one week (he said, "you guys need a vacation"), and the only person who asked how we were holding up after having my parents visiting for the weekend. So this week, as an alternative, I bought multi-grain dried pasta at the store. It's good, but not like the fresh pasta from a friend!
Penne Rigate with Goat Cheese and Ricotta Salata
14.5 ounces dried penne rigate
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 sun-dried tomato Tofurky sausages, sliced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup pine nuts
3 multi-colored heirloom tomatoes, chopped
1/2 jar pasta sauce
4 tablespoons goat cheese, crumbled
4 tablespoons ricotta salata, grated
1/2 cup parsley, coarsely chopped
Bring water to a boil in a large pot, add pasta and cook according to package instructions.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add garlic and heat until fragrant. Turn up heat to medium-high and add sausages and cook until slightly browned. Add red pepper, red pepper flakes, and pine nuts and saute until pine nuts are slightly browned. Add chopped tomatoes and cook until heated through. Add sauce and cook again until heated through. Mix in parsley and take the sauce off the heat.
Combine pasta and sauce in a large bowl. Serve immediately with 1 tablespoon each of goat cheese and ricotta salata per serving.