Pasta with Goat Cheese, Tomatoes, and Crispy Garlic
Hello, friends! I’m Marissa and I blog over at OMGfood – nice to meet you! I’m super excited to be here. Thank you, Brita, for allowing me to share my rambles and food in your internet home. :)
I had the pleasure of meeting Brita back in October 2015 at the then-called Food Blog University conference (now Blog Life University) in Cancun. It was an amazing and educational event – and I got to make friends with some awesome bloggers.
I grew up in the Boston area and was raised by loud, food-loving Greeks. My parents owned a restaurant for 25 years, which is where I learned and practiced making food from a young age. I’d say it’s why I have such a strong connection to food in general – especially Greek and Mediterranean food! I could talk about it all day.
In lieu of paragraphs to tell you more about myself, here’s a list of fun facts:
- I live with my life partner, Jason, and our cat, Nermal.
- Even though I have a cat, I’m actually more of a dog person. I technically have a dog, but she stays with my parents. Her name is Lily.
- I’m a former video game developer. I recently made a career switch to be more involved with food!
- Video games are my favorite pastime.
- The beach is one of my favorite places and I could never live more than an hour’s drive away from the coast because of it.
- I don’t have a favorite food because I love too many things to pick just one.
- I once did a dance routine “for” Usher. This may have something to do with my previous video game career. Bonus fact: It was his dance routine.
- I don’t share much of it on the internet, but I write poetry and song lyrics, and I’ve dabbled a bit on performing in public.
- Performing on stage makes me a little nervous, but public speaking is beyond terrifying to me.
- I know how to swim, but I’m pretty terrible at it.
You can learn more silly things about me over at my blog! Now, let’s talk about some tasty food, shall we?
When Brita and I first discussed this guest post, I knew immediately which recipe I wanted to share: Pasta with goat cheese, tomatoes, and crispy garlic. This dish is made with just a handful of ingredients and it’s full of flavor. I used tomatoes and basil from my container garden. ????
The “secret” to this pasta dish is infusing some olive oil with smashed garlic cloves. You can do this by cooking the garlic in the oil over low heat until it becomes crisp and golden. Then, set it aside to cool slightly and mince up that crispy garlic to top the pasta with before eating. I loooove garlic-infused oil and find myself making it more often than not these days. Another recipe I use it in is this puff pastry pizza (*coughshamelessplugcough*).
I also like to add the tomatoes to the colander before draining the pasta; this will allow the steam from the pasta to soften the tomatoes a bit and will essentially save you some time on the cooking front.
Saving time cooking is great because that leaves more time for eating!
It’s no secret that goat cheese, tomatoes, garlic, and basil pair so well together. The crispy garlic adds a bit of subtle depth. Also, I recommend topping with a sprinkle of Romano cheese to add just a little more oomph.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2–3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 8 ounces fusilli pasta
- 9–10 ounces grape tomatoes, halved
- 4 ounces crumbled goat cheese
- 10–12 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
- sea salt to taste
- freshly grated Romano cheese (optional)
- Add the olive oil and smashed garlic to a small skillet over low heat.
- Let cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring the garlic every two to three minutes. Be sure to keep a close eye on it, making sure the garlic doesn’t burn. The end result should be lightly golden and toasted garlic.
- Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Spoon out the garlic and finely chop. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, add the grape tomatoes to a colander and cook fusilli according to package directions.
- Drain the fusilli over the tomatoes and let sit for a couple of minutes.
- In a large bowl, mix together the fusilli, tomatoes, goat cheese, basil, and infused olive oil. Season with salt to taste.
- Top with crispy garlic and Romano cheese.