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Rich, creamy, hearty, DE-LIC-IOUS....yes, those would be words that I would use to describe this meal. I found this a while back on The Meat and Potatoes Foodie website. I've been putting off trying it because I knew it would be a heartier meal and I should save it for more "fall like" weather.
When I first saw the ingredients of this recipe I noticed that all Alisa used was tomato paste. No tomatoes, no crushed tomatoes, no diced tomatoes.....No Tomatoes! This, of course, intrigued me. When I'm intrigued by a recipe, I know it will go on the MUST try list! I did change somethings from her original recipe. I added a little red wine to the tomato paste and did not use as much as she did. Alisa used feta cheese, but I used goat cheese. They are definitely different cheeses, so it's up to you what you'd like to use. Personally, I'm not a huge feta fan. I like it, but for some reason I wasn't in the mood for it when I was grocery shopping...so I went for the goat cheese. It is what gave the pasta that wonderful creamy part!
No matter how you choose to make it..with feta or with goat cheese, or with no cheese...just make it! Oh, and have some yummy, warm, crispy bread with it....that just makes all pasta dishes better!!
Penne with Ground Beef, Zucchini, and Goat Cheese
Adapted from The Meat and Potatoes Foodie
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 pound ground beef/sirloin (I used 93/7)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
pinch of nutmeg
1/4 cup (4 Tbls) tomato paste
2 Tablespoons red wine
13 oz. whole grain penne pasta
4 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
2 Tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
shredded or grated parmesan cheese
Cook pasta according to package directions.
While pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a dutch oven or large, deep skillet. Add the shallots. Cook about 3 minutes (you may have to adjust heat, do not let them burn). Add the garlic and let cook 1 minute. Add the ground beef, red pepper flakes, oregano, and nutmeg. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until beef is just cooked through. Add the zucchini about 5 minutes before the beef is cooked through - if you want your zucchini cooked through more, add it with the shallot or just after adding the ground beef. Add the tomato paste and stir until well combined. Add the wine and cook for about 2 minutes. Turn the heat to low.
Drain the pasta, reserving about 2 ladles full of the pasta water. Add the pasta to the sauce and then add the reserved pasta water a little at a time, until it is the consistency that you like. Stir in the goat cheese and parsley. Top with parmesan cheese. Enjoy!