Pasta with Goat Cheese and Zucchini

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know I love a fast and easy pasta recipe and this pasta with goat cheese and zucchini is one of those dishes.  It’s quick and easy to put together and ready in under 30 minutes.  The hot pasta is tossed with a light, tangy goat cheese sauce that’s lemony and has a touch of heat from some red pepper flakes and minced garlic. Sautéed zucchini is added and its mild taste lets the goat cheese sauce shine through.  Throw in some toasted almonds for crunch and your dish is ready to serve.

Pasta with Goat Cheese and Zucchini | Green Valley Kitchen

If you’re a goat cheese fan then this recipe is for you.  Even if you’re on the fence about goat cheese this recipe may push you solidly into the FOR camp.  I’ve been experimenting with this recipe for a while now.  The goat cheese is creamy and tangy but needs to be balanced out with some lemon – which brightens up the whole dish.  Next, minced garlic and red pepper flakes are added to the sauce to give the dish a little fiery kick.   Zucchini, with its mild taste, is a great addition to this recipe – it’s also a good source of dietary fiber.  This recipe is a perfect weeknight dish – easy and flavorful – and takes less than 30 minutes to make.

Pasta with Goat Cheese and Zucchini | Green Valley KitchenPasta with Goat Cheese and Zucchini | Green Valley Kitchen

A couple of notes:

  • This dish comes together quickly, so have everything prepped, measured and chopped before you begin cooking.
  • Use a large sauté pan to cook the zucchini.  If the pan is too small, the zucchini will steam rather than brown.
  • If you’re not a zucchini fan, then asparagus or sautéed spinach would work well as a substitution.
  • Reserve a little of the pasta water before draining the pasta and add a couple of tablespoons of pasta water at a time to loosen up the sauce if necessary.

Pasta with Goat Cheese and Zucchini
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Prep time:
Cook time:
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Serves: 2 to 4
Pasta with goat cheese and zucchini. The perfect weekend night dish - easy and flavorful - and ready in under 30 minutes.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups penne pasta
  • 3 small/medium sized zucchini (about 1 pound) - quartered vertically then sliced into ¼" slices.
  • 1 veggie bouillon cube
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 3 large cloves of garlic - minced
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2.5 oz of goat cheese - half a 5 oz package - crumbled
  • ½ large lemon - about 3 tbs
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds - toasted
  • 2 tbs minced parsley - I used flat leaf parsley
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add bouillon cube and pasta and cook according to package instructions. Before draining pasta, set aside a little pasta water to add to the sauce if the pasta seems too dry.
  2. In a large sauté pan, toast almonds over high heat for 1 minute until slightly browned. Shake the pan continuously so they don't burn. Set aside.
  3. Using the same large sauté pan, heat 1 tbs of olive oil over medium heat and add the zucchini, one clove of minced garlic and 8 twists of black pepper from a pepper mill. Stir occasionally until zucchini is nicely brown and cooked through - about 8 minutes.
  4. When pasta is done, drain and set aside in the colander. In the same pan that you cooked the pasta, add 2 tbs olive oil, 2 minced cloves of garlic, lemon juice and red pepper flakes. The pan will be hot so swirl the ingredients around for 30 seconds then add in the drained pasta and most of the crumbled goat cheese. Stir to combine. Add in the cooked zucchini, toasted almonds and minced parsley. Toss gently to combine. If pasta and goat cheese sauce seem dry then add a few tablespoons of reserved pasta water to loosen up the sauce. Sprinkle a little crumbled goat cheese on the top of the dish before serving. Serve immediately.
Notes
I used penne but fusilli or ziti would work well also.

 

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32 comments on “Pasta with Goat Cheese and Zucchini

  1. annie@ciaochowbambina

    Okay – so, I don’t tend to visit the goat cheese camp very often, however, you just might make a believer out of me with the addition of lemon, certainly, but all the other interesting flavors you have going on here! I adore the addition of the almonds and the pop of freshness the parsley adds! Beautiful dish, Geraldine! Keep those easy and delicious pasta dishes coming!

    Reply
    1. Geraldine Post author

      Thanks, Annie – Goat cheese is definitely an acquired taste but the addition of lemon and red pepper definitely balance out the tanginess of the goat cheese – hope you try it!

      Reply
  2. Traci | Vanilla And Bean

    Ooooh, love the goat cheese in this, Geraldine! Add the lemon, pepper flakes and a splash of pasta water and creamy it IS! Nice work here! Pasta makes such a delicious week night meal and it’s soooo comforting! I like your suggestions of asparagus or or spinach too… whatever I have on hand! Thank you for this Geraldine! xo

    Reply
    1. Geraldine Post author

      Yes to goat cheese, Traci! I took me a while to embrace goat cheese but now I love it. And definitely any veggie would be a great substitute in this dish – I’m all for using up whatever you have in the fridge!

      Reply
    1. Geraldine Post author

      Thanks, Mary Ann – the first couple of times I made this I didn’t include red pepper flakes and it was definitely missing something – it really needs the red pepper flakes to give it a kick!

      Reply
  3. Michelle | The Secret Ingredient Is

    Love, love, love this! I too love fast and easy pasta recipes (we make it at least once a week) and goat cheese is an absolute game changer! Such a great addition, especially with the touch of lemon + red pepper flakes, and that zucchini – yum. Gorgeous photos!

    Reply
    1. Geraldine Post author

      Thanks so much, Michelle! I agree, goat cheese definitely takes pasta to the next level – and it’s so easy to just throw it in and add a nice, tangy creaminess to the dish.

      Reply
  4. Heather (Delicious Not Gorgeous)

    for some reason i don’t really do zucchini and pasta (i really don’t know why), but i should because this sounds so tasty! have you ever tried the apricot stilton from trader joe’s? i think that would be yummy instead of (or maybe in addition to!) the normal goat cheese here.

    Reply
    1. Geraldine Post author

      Hi Heather – I don’t think stilton will work. You really need a creamy, melting cheese – goat cheese melts very easily. If you’re not a big fan of zucchini with pasta I have lots of other fast pasta dishes on the site if you’re looking for something quick to make – just look under the 30 minutes or less category.

      Reply
  5. Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary

    I am a BIG fan of goat cheese, Geraldine… are there really people out there who arent?! Gah- more for me!!! 😉 LOVE this pasta! Creamy, dreamy, quick and easy = Perfection! Love that you paired this with zucchini! This the type of pasta dish dinner dreams are made of! Cheers, dear!

    Reply
  6. Denise | Sweet Peas & Saffron

    YES! I recently made goat cheese pasta and I was wondering why I hadn’t really seen it before! It is so creamy and the goat cheese adds such a nice flavor! I’ll have to try your version, looks so delicious especially with those slivered almonds!

    Reply
    1. Geraldine Post author

      Thanks, Denise – I agree – goat cheese is going to be my new, quick add in to pasta dishes – it melts so easily and adds a great tangy flavor!

      Reply
  7. Robyn @ Simply Fresh Dinners

    Hi Geraldine,
    I’m with you – I live on these kind of dishes. Loads of flavor and speedy preparation. Goat cheese is a gift from heaven and mixing it with the zucchini and almonds has me so excited about trying this dish! I could eat this every day, lol Thanks for a great recipe!
    This will be going into next weeks Healthy Weekly Meal Plan! Sharing 🙂

    Reply
  8. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles

    There’s something magical about the combination of pasta and lemon… how the citrus penetrates the warm noodles and imparts that tart punch of flavor — irresistible! Love how you’ve brought in the dollops of goat cheese in tandem with the spring inspired zucchini… I’m definitely feeling a touch of spring fever at the moment with the glorious weather we are enjoying 🙂 A lovely fresh and fuss free pasta Geraldine. I can imagine how delicious it is too!

    Reply
    1. Geraldine Post author

      Thanks so much, Kelly – glad you’re getting some lovely weather. It’s been really warm here – perfect weather for my mom who was just out for a visit!

      Reply
  9. Mayra

    This is such a delicious recipe!!! I stumbled upon it today and made it for dinner. I love how all the flavors in this dish come together and enhance one another! Not only is it flavorful but so very healthy too!!!!!
    Thank you!!!

    Reply

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