Smoked Cheese and Pasta with Pesto
As a single dad I always have to come up with food ideas for my daughter and myself; the challenge being to keep it interesting and healthy. Never knowing what school meals she will have had before she gets home makes planning things difficult, and most meals are thrown together based on how hungry she is, and what her social diary (think homework!) is like that night.
So, having been given some great Applewood Spreadable Smoked Cheese to try I thought I would create something that was both different, tasty and interesting to try for both of us to eat.
- 250 g Fresh Spaghetti or regular pasta
- 2 handfuls Curly Kale It reduces a lot so you cannot add too much
- 1 handful Breadcrumbs
- 10 g Butter
- 1 box Applewood Spreadable Cheese
- 1 Medium Red Coloured Chilli Used for colour so don't get a hot one!
- 1 Medium Garlic
- 1 dash Lemon Juice
Take the curly Kale and strip off the leaf part from any large stems. Then cut up the kale into small pieces, using either scissors or a sharp knife. As this is the base for the pesto it should be as small as possible, but as it reduces a lot when cooked you can easily get away with postage sized pieces, making a courser mix. Add in some very fine cut red chilli.
Put the cut Kale in a bowl, add the butter and the dash of lemon juice if you have it. Heat for 4 minutes, stirring often to make sure the kale reduces without sticking to the pan. A lot of moisture comes out so you should be fine.
Put the Fresh Pasta on and boil for 5 minutes. If using dried pasta then you may want to boil for longer so start this step a bit earlier.
Cut up the rest of the chilli and fry in olive oil until the edges just start to go dark. Add some garlic too if you want.
Flake in some breadcrumbs by ripping some bread slices apart. Two slices of bread is enough, not using the crusts. You can do this over the saucepan which saves using another bowl. Stir them occasionally until golden.
When the kale is ready, pour off any surplus water in the saucepan and then add about half the Applewood Spreadable Smoked Cheese to the pan. Stir it in quickly on a mild heat as it melts fast and you do not want it to stick to the pan.
Split the pasta onto two plates, put the kale pesto onto each, and the drizzle the breadcrumbs over the top to add colour and a bit of chilli taste. Enjoy
And as with all the food in my house, the ultimate taste test comes from my daughter. She commented that the smoked cheese flavour gave the pasta a really interesting taste that was fuller than she had expected. She also likes the fact that the cheese wasn’t stringy, so was easy to eat without embarrassing yourself.
I think this one is a hit.
The Applewood Spreadable cheese is much firmer than it appears, so can be cut in soft slices easier than being scooped from the carton. It melts easily in a gently heat, but does not go stringy, and that means it can be used in a variety of ways. I will add a few more recipes that meet with our taste-test approval here later.