Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Smoky Penne with Corn and Cherry Tomatoes

This Pasta! It is perfect for a romantic meal or to impress company. I believe the original recipe came from "Vegetarian Times." Note to sinusitis and allergy sufferers: although the proteins in cow's milk will irritate your sinuses, the proteins in goat's milk will not. (Disclaimer: I am not a doctor!)

12 oz. penne pasta (of course, any short, chunky type of pasta will do)
1 chipotle chile (If you get this dried, soak it for 10 minutes in hot water to rehydrate it. If you get it packed in adobo sauce, the soaking is not necessary. If you like things SPICY, leave the seeds and veins in. If you are just looking for a slightly spicy but more smoky flavor, take the veins and seeds out of the pepper.)
2 T. olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 4-oz. goat cheese, plus more for crumbling and sprinkling, if desired (Note to vegetarians: not all cheese is vegetarian. Be sure your cheese does not contain rennet, which is the lining of calf stomachs. Look for labels that specify "vegetable rennet" and "vegetable enzymes.")
1/3 c. chopped fresh parsley
2 c. grape or cherry tomatoes, washed and halved
2 c. fresh or frozen corn kernels (Fresh is reallllly nice. Boil the corn cobs first to lightly cook the kernels. Overcooking will dry them out. Once they cobs are cooked, hold the cob upright and use a knife to slice the kernels away from the cob. Do this on a dinner plate or in a bowl to catch the kernels.)
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1. Cook the pasta according to package directions.
2. Meanwhile, finely chop the chipotle chile. (Note: adobo sauce will temporarily stain your plastic cutting boards and your hands and may permanently stain other things.) Heat 1 T. oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add chile and garlic, and sauté 1 minute, or until fragrant. Stir in goat cheese and 1/3 c. water. Cook 2-3 minutes, or until a smooth sauce forms, stirring constantly. Simmer 2 minutes more, then remove from heat and add remaining 1 T. oil.
3. Drain pasta, and return to the pot. Add tomatoes, corn, parsley, and cheese sauce. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer to serving bowl, and toss in extra goat cheese crumbles, if desired.

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