We all have that recipe that we make so many times that the book, magazine, or recipe card its printed on is a total mess from use…….Pancetta Goat Cheese Pasta is that recipe.
I have numerous times made reference to those checkout counter cookbooks……you know the little ones, that while you are in line waiting to check out….you’re checking out. This recipe is from one of them. I still love those cookbooks! I do resist buying them because ……..well….Pinterest.
Anyway, I had never made this for Tim. He had mentioned making a pasta dish for the blog, so this came to mind immediately.
The flavors of caramelized red onions, garlic, and thyme, swimming in a creamy goat cheese sauce, and topped with crispy pancetta will have your taste buds singing.The ease of preparation will have your heart singing!
Campanelle (Italian for bellflowers or little bells) pasta is this cute, curly, bell shaped pasta that sauce just clings too. Any short pasta will work though.
Pancetta is Italian bacon, made of pork belly meat that is salt cured and spiced with black pepper. I found it already diced in a convenient package…no muss, no fuss. If you cannot find pancetta, you can use regular bacon, just dice it and cook as directed in the recipe.
Red onions, sometimes called purple onions, have purplish red skin and white flesh tinged with red.These onions have a mild to sweet flavor. Often eaten raw, grilled or lightly cooked as they tend to lose their redness with too much cooking time……which mine did, but their caramelized flavor…..perfect!
Now, about the goat cheese sauce………who knew that something so simple could taste so good? Goat cheese, with its pristine white color and distinct flavor is one of the most amazing foods in the world — a humble basic for some, a gourmet delight for others. Tim say he is acquiring a taste for it………I have already acquired said taste!
I really feel guilty saying “to make the sauce”……..but I’ll get over it…..huh…..I’m already over it……… crumbling the tangy goat cheese over warm pasta and adding some of the pasta water and tossing hardly constitute making a sauce…..but it works!!!
The addition of the onion mixture, the pancetta, and parmesan cheese for that little something extra. makes a simple rustic pasta dish. Little work…..big flavor!
The combination of flavors is a pasta lovers dream come true! You will savor every bite of Pancetta Goat Cheese Pasta!!
- 1 pound campanelle (any short pasta)
- 4 ounces pancetta, diced ( you can use regular bacon )
- 4 medium red onions, thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, plus more for garnish
- Kosher salt and ground pepper to taste
- 4 ounces soft goat cheese
- Parmesan cheese for garnish
- Brown the pancetta in a large skillet over medium heat. Remove the browned pancetta to a paper towel-lined plate.
- In the same pan, add the onions, garlic, and thyme. Cover the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions just begin to brown (about 15 minutes). Then uncover and cook until gold brown for an additional 5-10 minutes.
- Cook pasta according to package direction. Before draining, reserve about 2 cups of the pasta water; then drain the pasta, and place into a large bowl.
- Crumble goat cheese over pasta in the bowl, add the onion mixture and about 1 cup of reserved pasta water. Season with salt and pepper. Toss ingredients, adding more water if necessary. Sprinkle with pancetta, more thyme, and parmesan cheese (if desired).
- Serve with a loaf of crusty bread.