This creamy goat cheese pasta with green peas, leeks, lemon, and olives is an easy vegetarian pasta dish that the whole family is sure to love. You can customize it with any vegetables you have on hand, too!
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 leeks, cleaned and thinly sliced
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano (or 1 tablespoon fresh, chopped)
- 1 1/2 tablespoon dried basil (or 1 tablespoon fresh, chopped)
- 1/4–1/2 teaspoon chili flakes, to taste
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 (285 gram) jar artichoke hearts in brine, drained and quartered
- 4 cups uncooked rotini, penne, or fusilli pasta
- 1 cup reserved pasta cooking water
- 1 heaping cup shelled green peas, fresh or thawed frozen
- 4 oz (114 grams) chèvre (soft goat cheese), crumbled
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon (about 4 tablespoons of juice)
- Pitted kalamata olives or chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, for serving
- Fresh herbs, for serving
Start by warming the extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once warm, add the leeks and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, five minutes. Add the garlic and cook five more minutes, or until the leeks are softened and browned to your liking. Mix in the oregano, basil, chili flakes, several twists of ground black pepper, and an additional pinch of sea salt. Finally, stir in the artichokes and remove from the heat.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the directions on the package. Once cooked, drain and reserve 1 cup of the cooking water. Return the pasta to the pot. Add 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking water, the chèvre, the sautéed leeks and artichokes, the peas, and the lemon juice and zest. Stir to combine. The warm pasta and cooking water will cause the chèvre to melt and form a lovely, creamy “sauce.” If it seems too dry, add additional reserved pasta cooking water until desired consistency is reached. Taste and season with additional salt and/or lemon.
Scoop into bowls and top with olives or sun-dried tomatoes and fresh herbs.
For a vegan pasta dish, make this cashew cream in place of the chèvre: In an upright blender, combine the following and blend until super smooth and creamy, adding additional water as needed to form a pourable sauce.
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in boiling water for an hour and drained
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, or to taste
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 garlic cloves
- 3/4 tsp fine sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/2-3/4 cup water, as needed
Pour the cashew cream over the warm pasta, toss to coat, then add the sautéed veggies, peas, and lemon zest. You might not need to add much more lemon juice since the cashew cream has a fair bit already.
- Category: Main Course
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keywords: creamy goat cheese pasta with lemon artichokes leeks peas