I have a serious case of goat envy. Ever since my toddler son began drinking us out of house and home with his thirst for goat milk, I started looking into having a goat of our own. Unfortunately the odds (damn HOA, bobcats, and coyotes in our neighborhood) weren’t in our favor. But a few months ago, I stumbled upon an article about a Tucson couple, David and Kathryn Heininger, who decided to leave the rat race behind for an adventure in off-grid homesteading in Northern Arizona. Soon thereafter, they serendipitously found themselves starting a goat cheese dairy on their property called the Black Mesa Ranch. So when I learned of the Black Mesa Ranch hosting an open house to visit their goats and sample their cheese and chocolates, we made plans with another family to take an overnight trip–managing to squeeze four adults, three toddlers, three playpens, luggage, and rifle gear (we promised the dads some target shooting time) in an SUV, and headed East for the 2 ½ hour pilgrimage to Snowflake, AZ.
We had a blast visiting the ranch, and befriending the happy goats. I definitely recommend checking out the next open house at Black Mesa Ranch. They hold an open house twice a year. From the subtle, creamy traditional goat cheese to the tangy feta cheese, even the toddlers couldn’t be pried away from the tasting room. Learn more about our visit by checking out this Black Mesa Ranch article I wrote for the Good Food Allies, an a organization that seeks to facilitate the growth of small-scale farms and artisan businesses in Arizona.
Arriving home on Sunday afternoon with an amazing assortment of goat cheese and chocolates, I had to come up with something for dinner… fast. I was inspired by this quick and easy goat cheese pasta recipe posted on the Black Mesa Ranch website. Seriously, this goat cheese pasta recipe comes together as quickly as boxed mac n’ cheese, and is just as simple too. I included the broccoli and basil from my On The Vine CSA box from North Scottsdale Farmers Market, and mixed in the coveted Black Mesa Ranch goat cheese with some sun dried tomatoes, yum! You won’t be disappointed.
[puregallery exclude=”” order=”desc” orderby=”menu_order”]
- Prep Time : 5 minutes
- Cook Time : 12 minutes
- Yield : 4-6
- Bring large pot of water to a boil, and add olive oil and salt.
- Add pasta and cook according to directions. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water.
- On the last two minutes of cooking the pasta, add the broccoli to the pasta water.
- Drain pasta into a large bowl. Add goat cheese, sun dried tomatoes, and parmesan cheese.
- Add a little pasta water, and mix to desired creaminess. For thinner sauce add more pasta water.
- Add salt and pepper to taste, sprinkle with basil. Serve immediately.