When I decided to really limit the amount of meat that I ate I worried that I would struggle to find recipes that I liked and were filling. It seemed like all of my favorite recipes contained meat and that every new recipe I pinned on Pinterest was meat based. My sister has been a vegetarian for the past year, and to hear her talk being a vegetarian meant there were essentially three things you could eat: a garden salad, baked potatoes, and spaghetti. It’s worth noting that my sister has always been a ridiculously picky eater. Once when we were little kids she went through a long phase where she would only eat spaghetti (angel hair only) and meatballs. When I thought about it I realized that the fact that her diet narrowed to salads and baked potatoes actually had nothing to do with her being a vegetarian.
I knew that I really wanted to reduce the amount of meat I ate. It has been a goal of mine for a while, and the more I learn about the impact the meat industry has on the environment and the realities of factory farming the more important that goal becomes. I decided the easiest way to build a meatless recipe collection was to focus on what meat-free foods I knew I liked and searched for recipes that included them. I was surprised when I went through my cookbooks, recipes I’d saved online, and ones that were clipped up on my refrigerator how many meatless recipes I’d already highlighted as favorites. That definitely made going meatless more often a little easier.
There are few things I love more in the food world than pasta (of any kind) and goat cheese. So when I stumbled across a recipe that included both, could be completed in less than 30 minutes and only had two steps I knew I had to try it.
Pasta Salad with Goat Cheese and Arugula
• Prep Time 10 minutes
• Total Time 25 minutes
• Yield Serves 4
• Coarse salt and ground pepper
• 3/4 pound gemelli or other short pasta
• 1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
• 3/4 cup crumbled fresh goat cheese (3 ounces)
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
• 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
• 1 bunch arugula (8 ounces), torn
• 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente. Drain pasta and rinse under cold water. In a large bowl, toss pasta with beans and goat cheese.
2. Make dressing: In a bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, and mustard and season with salt and pepper. (To store, refrigerate pasta mixture and dressing separately, up to 1 day.) To serve, toss pasta mixture with dressing, arugula, and onion.