I have decided that I can, without a doubt, subsist solely on pasta, goat cheese, and bread. Sure I’ll throw in a vegetable here and there, but those are truly the only things I need. I’m blaming (thanking?) my newly awakened love for goat cheese to two local goat cheese companies: Black Mesa Ranch and Fiore de Capra. If you’re one of those people who insists they hate goat cheese even though they’ve only tried it once or twice, your opinions might be altered when you taste the fresh, creamy, and slightly tangy goat cheese from these ranches. I eat the stuff smothered on bread, crumbled onto salads, and honestly just straight up by itself.
I must warn you, though, that dogs also love this creamy cheese. Just last week one of my pups stole a whole log of it from my counter. Right in front of my very eyes! I was bitter and sad, but he looked as if he could be content for life. I think I was secretly glad that he got to share in my bursting love for this cheese. My strangeness is no secret.
I was absolutely planning on creating a recipe chock full of the incredible corn, roasted peppers, and pinto beans (I literally did a little dance when I saw those guys) from this week’s CSA harvest. But then this Goat Cheese and Sun Dried Tomato Penne just kind of happened in my kitchen last night, and I couldn’t not share it with you. Out of respect for you and your tastebuds, of course. And you know what? The goat cheese in this recipe was purchased from Tucson CSA, so I think I’m in the clear.
So what is this somewhat spicy, divine, creamy, quick, and mouthwatering dish? It’s basically an adult version of mac ’n cheese that will make you want to be an adult forever. Because goat cheese is so creamy, it creates a sauce that coats each piece of penne like a cozy blanket. The sun dried tomatoes add the perfect amount of sweetness to balance out the tangy goat cheese. And, because I’m a fool for ridiculous levels of flavor, I infused the olive oil with red pepper flakes and tossed in a handful of fresh basil. Oh, and the broccoli? Don’t even worry about it. It’s just a little reminder that summer isn’t quite over.
If you’re curious, this week I got my ingredients from:
Rillito Park Farmer’s Market (penne, broccoli, basil)
Tucson CSA (goat cheese, garlic)
Queen Creek Olive Mill (sun dried tomato and herb tapenade)
Shelby Thompson is a recent graduate of the University of Arizona. When she isn’t working her day job, Shelby can be found practicing in the yoga studio, playing ball with her black lab Cola, and cooking in the kitchen. Her blog, thesunandthespoon.com, aims to provide nutritious, plant-based recipes for fellow food lovers. She greatly enjoys the wide array of local food and talent in Tucson.