What do you do with leftovers? They can definitely be eaten as is a few more times, but for those who tire of the same meal, it helps to give them a transformation. An extreme makeover, if you will. We just showed you one of our new favorite dips–muhammara. It has a very distinct nutty flavor with just a hint of back end heat. We doubt that it’s traditionally paired with cheese, but as folks who naturally buck the trends, we decided to give it a try. On a whim, we combined just a bit with goat cheese on a piece of pita, and the mix was really nice. We thought to ourselves that making a muhammara sauce for pasta would be a fun fusion idea. With a bit of linguine left in the cupboard, an idea was born!
You never know what you’ll get with a fusion dish, but this one was good. Awesome, in fact. The tang of goat cheese mixed with full-bodied walnuts and fresh cucumbers and tomatoes make one lovely bite. If the goat cheese seems odd to you, leave it out. Or if you’re not a fan of it, try a different one. You may need something to thicken the sauce with something else, which you could easily do with a little cream or yogurt.
Linguine with Muhammara Goat Cheese Sauce – Serves 4
1/2 pound linguine, cooked (save water)
1/4 cup pasta water
1/2 cup muhammara
3 ounces goat cheese
1 persian cucumber, sliced*
1 vine tomato, diced
1/2 medium red onion, deseeded and sliced
1. Set a large pot of salted water to boil. Add pasta and cook to desired preference.
2. As pasta cooks, swirl a bit of olive oil in a large pan. Add red onion and heat until they just begin to go translucent, approximately 2-3 minutes.
3. Add cucumber slices and cook until they soften, approximately 2 minutes.
4. Pour in pasta water, muhammara and goat cheese. Stir well to mix.
5. Drop in pasta and tomatoes, making sure to cover with all the sauce. Cook until heated through, approximately 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat to allow sauce to thicken as it sits. Salt to taste.
*We sliced the cucumber in half lengthwise and scooped out the seeds with a spoon, then sliced little half moon shapes. Getting rid of the seeds cuts down on extra water going into the dish. We did the same for the tomatoes.
Click HERE for the printable recipe.