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Pasta With Goat Cheese, Spinach and Walnuts Recipe


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     Pasta With Goat Cheese, Spinach and Walnuts

Category   Entrees - Maindishes
Sub Category   None
Servings   4-6

Kosher salt
1 pound whole-grain spaghetti or thin spaghetti (spaghettini)
2 teaspoons avocado oil or extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, grated or minced
8 ounces fresh goat cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
10 ounces fresh baby spinach
1 cup (about 1 ounce) fresh flat-leaf parsley choppe
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted if desired
3 strips crisp bacon, roughly chopped (optional)

In a large pot of salted boiling water over medium-high heat, cook the pasta about 2 minutes short of package instructions. Drain, reserving 4 cups of the pasta water. Carefully wipe out any residual water from the pot and return it to medium-high heat. Add the oil and heat until shimmering. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. If the goat cheese is in a log, cut it into about 6 pieces. Add the goat cheese, oregano and cayenne and 2 cups pasta water and stir until the cheese is melted and well combined, about 4 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the spinach and parsley and cook, stirring occasionally, until the spinach is just wilted, 2 to 3 minutes, adding splashes of additional pasta water as needed.
Remove the pot from the heat and add half of the cooked pasta. Using a large fork or tongs, gently toss until the noodles are well coated. Add the remaining pasta and repeat until all of the pasta is coated in a thin sauce. Add additional pasta water if the noodles seem too dry. Transfer the pasta to a big serving bowl. Sprinkle it with the walnuts and bacon, if using. Gently toss once more and serve family-style. Sprinkle parsley on top.

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