Friday, December 3, 2010

Pasta with Ben and Jerry

Pasta with Ben and Jerry
Home Cooking

Today, a tray of 4 tomatoes cost me $13.

This is the story...

Last night, I was watching Gourmet Farmer on SBS and Matt made this really simple pasta that somehow looked amazing. He was investigating the use of goat produce, namely goat's milk and goat's cheese. The pasta involved fresh tomato, basil, olive oil and goat's cheese tossed with freshly cooked pasta. Sounds easy, yeh?

I woke up today with a huge craving for it and thought 'I won't even need lots of ingredients... this will be a cinch'.

I assumed we had tomato at home and I knew we definitely had olive oil. I had to buy the basil and cheese and well, I didn't need to buy pasta because I have some... but I wanted a different shape. So I bought that too.

When I got home all excited and ready to cook, I was devastated to find that there was no tomato. Well, this is pasta tossed with TOMATO. Tomato is a key ingredient! I saw a flash of red in the fridge and that turned out to be capsicum. I toyed with the idea of using canned tomato but decided that would defy the point. This pasta dish is supposed to be light and fresh. Canned tomato just isn't right for it.

As sick as I am of driving, I got back in the car to pick up some tomato. After acquiring some, I got distracted by the ice-cream stand at my local veggie store (which is a bit of a gourmet food shop too).

I first heard about Ben and Jerry when I bought their ice-cream recipe book. From there I learned that they are a popular ice-cream franchise. When the first store opened in Australia, I was excited along with everyone else. It was only recently that I found out there were stockists in Brisbane... I had thought that only Sydney/Melbourne people could taste it. Well, I saw a whole stash at this shop and I just HAD to buy a tub.

I chose Half Baked, which has the most amazing description: "Chocolate & Vanilla Ice Creams with Fudge Brownies & Gobs of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough".

That sounds like 5 desserts in 1! I picked it up and was worried I wouldn't make the $10 EFTPOS minimum... and then the lady told me it was $13 total. So much for just picking up some tomato! Mum has a saying 'if you leave the house, you're going to spend money'. So true.

Tomato, Basil and Goat's Cheese Penne
Serves 1

  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • a handful of basil leaves, torn
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 30g goat's cheese
  • 1/2 cup dry penne
  • Black pepper (optional)

1. Mix the tomato, salt, basil and goat's cheese together. Toss with some olive oil. Set aside.2. Cook the pasta in salt water according to instructions on the packet.3. By the time the pasta is ready, the tomato should look a bit depleted as the salt would have drawn the juices out.4. Drain the pasta and toss through the tomato mixture.
5. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper and serve immediately.

Note: this recipe makes more than the serving photo suggests... I just spooned out one small plate first to take the picture.

This pasta was one of the easiest things I've ever made but it was just so delicious. When a dish is simple and doesn't use many ingredients, the quality of ingredients is important. Make sure you choose fresh, rich tomatoes and a good, creamy goat's cheese.

The tomato soup-like liquid that emerged from the ingredients being mixed together had a light, fresh and tart flavor. This is a great way to see how tomato and basil are perfectly matched. I'll pop this pasta into my regular Summer menu.

As for the ice-cream... it was everything I expected. Creamy and sweet with huge chunks of EVERYTHING imaginable. I'm dying to try their other flavors now.


  1. I recommend Chunky Monkey and the Strawberry Cheesecake flavours. :) There is a gourmet cafe in Paddington which sells Ben and Jerry's ice cream for a couple dollars less but that seem to be the going rate until they start supplying in the supermarkets (I heard it might be sold in Coles) happy eating!! I love reading your reviews!!! :)