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Crispy spaghetti nests with goats cheese

July 4, 2012

I often have to pinch myself when I see that other people read my blog. I love that you cope with (maybe even enjoy) my ramblings, rants and recipes-gone-awry.  It makes me grin, so thankyou.

I am even more stunned when lovely people making delicious food let me try their goods for free or invite me to events. What? Me?  Well, if you insist…

This week I have enjoyed a brilliant day with Total Greek Yoghurt  (more of that soon)  where I met loads of great bloggers and Mr Paul Merrett – chef, biker, yoghurt fan and all round nice guy. Then, the next day I was sent a fantastic hamper (F&M eat your heart out) from Capricorn Goats Cheese full of Somerset related produce and two creamy, mellow rounds of their cheese.

Capricorn are running something called the  #capricornchallenge hosted by their mascot @EthelTheGoat. They send a hamper of ingredients and challenge bloggers to come up with a recipe from them. So, here’s my first one..

Crispy spaghetti pesto nests, with goats cheese and tomato

Crispy spaghetti pesto nests, with goats cheese and tomato

I am absolutely delighted with how these came out. Firstly because air-baked pasta is a revelation – it’s so deliciously crispy, almost like it has been deep fried.  Secondly, because of the balance of textures and flavours. I know I’m not inventing the wheel – these are well known combinations – but the crunch of the spaghetti against the creamy goats cheese works really well and because the pesto is baked into the spaghetti, it doesn’t over-power the cheese.

Crispy pesto speghetti nests with goats cheese
(anyone got a better name for them?)

A good grab of  spaghetti (though I think it would
Pesto
1 round of goats cheese
A couple of good quality ripe tomatoes, not too large
A handful of fresh basil
Extra olive oil
A bun/muffin tin – lightly oiled

Cook your spaghetti al dente and preheat the oven to …er….hot (I was making it up as I went along, but you don’t need to cook it, just turn it crispy)

Drain well, add the pesto (and a little oil if your pesto is on the dry side). Toss well to make sure it is well coated

Now it’s time to get a bit messy… grab a handful of spaghetti a twirl it round (or you could use a fork) so that it is spiralled in the base of the muffin tin and then up the sides. You can rearrange it up the side with your fingers.

It gets easier each time  and they don’t need to be too neat and perfect – the straggly bits are the nicest as they go really crispy – you just need to be able to fit a small round of cheese and tomato in the gap in the middle.

When you’ve made enough nests or used all your spaghetti, put the tray in the oven and cook until the straggly bits are turning darker (yes, this is really precise)

Take out of the oven and leave to cool. Meanwhile, cut your goats cheese into rounds and thinly slice your tomato. In each nest layer up a slice of tomato, a basil leaf,  a slice of goats cheese and then a top-of tomato slice so that the goats cheese is still clearly visible (see picture).

Just before you want to serve them, pop them back under the grill so that the skin on the tomato starts to blister and the visible cheese starts to melt.

Drizzle some pesto oil over the top and serve.

Oh and by the way, these fall apart when you eat them. So only make them for really nice people who love you already and won’t laugh as you shower yourself in spaghetti crumbs.

Not dainty to eat but very tasty

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. July 4, 2012 10:45 am

    Can’t wait to hear about your Total Yoghurt day! I’ve seen this hamper do its rounds on the blogosphere. Love what you did with it here! I’m not a fan of goats cheese but would like to try this with a different cheese. Excuse me while I wipe my drool! ;-P

  2. July 4, 2012 11:54 am

    Ooh nice. All of my favourite things 🙂

  3. July 4, 2012 12:26 pm

    I love the idea of the spaghetti nests – genius! These look utterly delicious, especially with the goat’s cheese.

  4. July 4, 2012 5:51 pm

    These look AMAZING!!

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