Zucchini Spaghetti with Goat Cheese

I. Am. Such. A. Slacker.

Seriously friends. Sorry for such a writing delay. Work has been a little crazy and then we went to Maui for a mostly spontaneous week-long anniversary trip. Maui was blissful… balmy air, clear waters, sea turtles and mai tais. Hopefully I’ll have some photos to share soon.

Fresh off the plane from Maui, my dear friend Jannie came to visit! We were so excited to have her come visit and invited a few friends over to celebrate her arrival. I found this pasta recipe online the day before she flew it and I looked so quick and easy I knew it would be perfect for a crowd. I loved the idea of matchstick zucchini adding some healthy veggies to the pasta and the goat cheese made such a creamy sauce with almost no effort. The pancetta adds a hint of a smoky flavor, blending really nicely with the sun-dried tomatoes and grilled chicken. This was a crowd pleaser for sure!

I don’t have a photo to show you this time. When I have company over waiting eagerly for dinner, the last thing I want to do is to pull out my camera and lighting and start styling a plate of pasta. But you all know what spaghetti looks like… imagine it with a white cream sauce and skinny slivers of zucchini. 🙂

Ingredients
• 1/2 packet of spaghetti (I used whole wheat) — reserve 1/2 cup of hot cooking liquid
• 2 chicken breasts seasoned with salt and pepper, grilled and sliced into bit-size pieces)
• 1 T olive oil OR oil from sun-dried tomatoes
• 3 cloves of garlic, minced
• 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
• 1/3 C sun-dried tomatoes, sliced
• 1 large zucchini, sliced thin julienne (long and skinny like a spaghetti noodle)
• 1/4 C diced pancetta (italian style bacon — I buy it in a packet in the deli meat and cheese section of Trader Joes)
• 4 oz goat cheese
• fresh basil, to taste, chopped
• freshly ground black pepper

Bring a pot of water to a boil, add a pinch of salt and add the pasta. Cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 C of the cooking liquid.

Add oil to a pan. Add the garlic, red pepper and pancetta and cook for about 2-3 minutes on medium heat. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and zucchini, cooking for another minute or two.

In a large bowl, combine the noodles, grilled chicken, pancetta and veggie mix from the pan, goat cheese and reserved cooking liquid, tossing until everything is combined and the goat cheese is melted into a sauce. Scatter the basil and serve hot! YUM!

Serves 4. Adapted from Elly Says Opa!

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