We had a few trick or treaters and started watching a couple of horror movies. Like TrollHunter. Oh yeah. A Blair Witch-style movie, Norwegian of course, about these college kids finding out trolls are real. Did you know trolls turn to stone? Well some explode, but I don't remember specifically a story where trolls turn to stone. Did you know the Norwegian word for troll is troll? According to Wikipedia the Scandinavians have trolls on lock. So there you go, all you wanted to ever hear about trolls.
This pasta is the antithesis of a trolls. It's creamy, comforting, and incapable of becoming a statue. It's got goat cheese, pancetta, Parmigiano, and tomatoes that come together in a risotto-style pasta to make your life complete. Complete, people.
Get it started.
*I used sage because it was in my fridge. If you've got another herb like rosemary or thyme, feel free to use it. You can also use bacon instead of pancetta if that's what you have hanging around.
Goat Cheese and Pancetta Orecchiette with Tomato Confit (serves 4)
Adapted from Food & Wine
1 small can whole peeled tomatoes, seeded
1 c extra virgin olive oil
4-5 sage leaves
1 bay leaf
2 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 oz. pancetta, cooked crispy
2 tbs unsalted butter
1/2 medium onion, medium dice
1/2 lb orechiette (other small-cut pasta will work- ditalini, small shells, etc)
3 1/2 c low-sodium chicken broth
Sprinkle of dried thyme leaves (about 1/4 tsp)
4 oz. creamy goat cheese
1/2 c grated Parmigiano Reggiano, plus more for serving
Fresh ground pepper and salt to taste
Chopped green onions for serving, optional
- Heat a small saucepan with the olive oil, tomatoes, sage leaves, bay leaf, and half the garlic over medium heat. Let it simmer 10-15 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the tomatoes to a cutting board. Chop the tomatoes and reserve them.
- Melt the butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion to the pan and cook until soft and translucent. Add the pasta and cook until golden in color, about 2 minutes. Add the rest of the garlic and cook another minute.
- Add 1/2 c of the chicken broth to the pasta, stirring until nearly absorbed. Add the thyme and continue adding the broth 1/2 c at a time. The pasta will be done when it is al dente and in a starchy, creamy-looking sauce.
- Add the tomatoes and let it stand on the heat 1 minute. Take the pan off the heat and add the goat cheese and Parmigiano. When the cheese is melted, season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately and garnish with extra Parmigiano, pancetta, and green onions.