The Missing Ingredient

A Food Blog

Creamy Pasta with Tomato Confit and Fresh Goat Cheese September 22, 2008

This was a lot of work and I’m not quite sure about the payoff in comparison.  The ending result was quite good but some of the steps were very time consuming: i.e. poaching the tomatoes.  I’m not sure the result would have been much different if you just added diced tomatoes while cooking the pasta.  That would cut down on at least 20 minutes cooking time.

Source:  Food & Wine

1 cup extra-virgin olive oil for poaching

3 plum tomatoes – peeled, quartered and seeded

2 thyme sprigs

1 bay leaf

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 Tbs. unsalted butter

1 small onion, coarsely chopped

Kosher salt

1/2 pound ditalini or other small-cut pasta (1 1/2 cups)

3 1/2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth

1/2 cup soft fresh goat cheese (4 ounces)

1/2 tightly packed freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (2 1/2 ounces), plus more for serving

Freshly ground pepper

2 Tbs. snipped chives

2 Tbs. 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 with 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.


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