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Penne with Peas, Bacon & Goat Cheese

Wowza, this was amazing! Like, I think I want to make it again tonight and tomorrow night amazing! Kurt was out of town on Friday night and I spent all day at home babysitting my niece and Riglee since daycare was closed. Do you know there is really not a lot on tv during the day? Well I do now. Luckily Food Network and the Cooking Channel had a few good shows on. I caught a glimpse of a couple pieces of an Everyday Italian episode and Giada made this Penne with Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese dish. It looked pretty darn good. So at 4:00pm when I was trying to decide what to make myself for dinner I thought about this dish. I definitely did NOT want to spend an hour prepping and roasting butternut squash but I definitely DID want this goat cheese sauce she made.

I picked my brain for what might be simple and delicious to go with this creamy goat cheese penne and the first thing that came to mind was panchetta and peas! Well panchetta costs and arm and a leg so I scratched that and cheaped it down to bacon. Don't worry, the bacon was a perfect match to the dish. The bacon was perfectly salty and crunchy, the peas were a sweet pop in your mouth and the goat cheese was tangy and creamy to tie it all together. Not to bad for the first meal I've really every just "thrown" together! Not only is this Kurt approved but my sister-in-law, who swears she DOES NOT like goat cheese, couldn't get enough of this pasta!! This is a quick and easy go-to meal when you want something simple with a gourmet feel. Yum-O!!

Penne with Peas, Bacon & Goat Cheese
Source: All Me!

1/2 lb. mini-penne noodles
4 oz. goat cheese at room temperature
5 slices thick cut bacon (or panchetta)
1/4 cup onion
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 cup starchy cooking water, reserved

1. Boil the water and start cooking the penne. When penne is almost done add peas to the water to heat up.
2. While the penne is cooking, slice bacon into about half inch strips and dice the onion. Saute bacon and when bacon is halfway done add the onion to cook. When the bacon is crispy and finished cooking, remove to a plate with a couple paper towel on it to get soak up the grease.
3. Put goat cheese in the bottom of a big bowl. When the penne is done, reserve about 1 cup of the cooking water. Spoon penne and peas into bowl with goat cheese. Add a little cooking water (maybe 1/4 cup) to help soften the goat cheese and make it creamier.
4. Add the bacon and onion and mix until the goat cheese is creamy and coating everything. Add more starchy cooking water if the goat cheese isn't melting or you want it creamier. Serve and enjoy!

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