Here is an easy and delicious pasta side dish that can be eaten hot or cold. I use two types of pasta, the penne for its al dente nature and the rotini because its grooves pick up the sauce so well. This is just my personal preference, so whatever pasta you have on hand will work just fine though.
The fromage blanc is a delicious and healthy alternative to cream cheese as it has fewer calories and less cholesterol, but believe me, it is still creamy and yummy. The creaminess of the cheeses in the pasta are rounded out by the herby basil flavors and heightened by the complex flavors of marinated artichoke hearts. Enjoy!
Cheesy Basil and Artichoke Pasta
- 1/4 lb penne
- 1/2 lb rotini
- 3 garlic cloves
- 3 ounces fromage blanc
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 small can of marinated artichoke hearts, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 ounces fresh basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated hard goat cheese
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the penne and rotini, cook until it is tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 11 minutes.
Mince the garlic in a food processor. Add the fromage blanc, 3/4 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, and the basil. Blend until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Set the cheese and basil mixture aside.
Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Scrape the cheese and basil mixture over the pasta mixture and toss to coat, adding enough reserved cooking liquid to moisten. Season the pasta, to taste, with salt and pepper. Coarsely chop the marinated artichoke hearts and add to the pasta. Sprinkle the Parmesan and goat cheese over and serve.