Sunday, February 28, 2010
Pasta Primavera with Halloumi
Have I mentioned how much I like Halloumi? I had it for a the first time a few years ago and was amazed at how salty and crispy it is. I had no idea it was a cheese made with goat and sheep milk, and I probably wouldn't have tried it if I did. (I thought I hated cheese made with goat or sheep milk.)
We had some Halloumi in the fridge that was a little over date. I didn't want to waste it but knew I had to use it pretty quickly. The last time I cooked Halloumi that had gone out of date it made the house smell so horribly that no one could stand it. My mom left and went to the gym. When I went to the gym a little later later, I opened the door (it was a massive space) and heard her yell, "I can still smell you!"
The Halloumi pasta dish was fairly easy and tasted/smelled fine. I like it served hot. The recipe makes enough for about six servings.
225 grams Halloumi
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 head of broccoli
3 carrots, peeled
3 cloves garlic, minced
400 grams penne pasta
2 large roma tomatoes
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Heat a skillet. Cut the Halloumi into 1/4 inch thick slices. When the skillet is hot, place the Halloumi in the pan. (If it's not hot enough, the Halloumi has a tendency to melt before it browns.) Brown the Halloumi on one side, then flip over and heat on the other. Remove the skillet from the heat and take the cheese out of the pan.
Bring a saucepan of water to boil, add salt and the pasta. Cook until al dente, about 10 minutes and use a strainer to drain the pasta.
Wash the broccoli and carrots. Cut the carrots and broccoli into bite size pieces. Steam the vegetables, or throw them in with the pasta.
Wash and dice the tomatoes. In a large bowl, combine the pasta, broccoli, carrots and tomatoes. Cut the Halloumi into small pieces and add to the bowl as well.
Dice the onion into small pieces. Wash and cut the mushrooms, and mince the garlic. In a skillet (I used the one from the Halloumi) heat the olive oil. Add the onions and allow to saute until the onions become translucent (about three minutes.) Then add the mushrooms. Allow the mushrooms to reduce, releasing liquid (three to four minutes.) Then add the butter and the garlic and cook for another few minutes.
Add the mushroom sauce to the pasta, mix well, add salt and pepper to taste and serve.