This is inspired by Smitten Kitchen's asparagus, goat cheese and lemon pasta. To make it low sodium, I omitted the salt and added some sour cream to the goat cheese mixture. To give the dish a little more flavor, I used eggplants and tomatoes rather than asparagus, and tossed the vegetables in some balsamic vinegar before adding it to the pasta. Finally, I topped it with some fresh basil and toasted pecans for a little extra flavor and texture. It's a tangy, creamy pasta dish that comes together in about 30 minutes and has less than 100 mg of sodium for a large, hearty serving.
Sodium: About 90 mg per serving
Time: 30 minutes
1 pound uncooked pasta*
4 ounces fresh goat cheese (Roth Chèvre has 75 mg per serving)
1/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon onion powder
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound of vegetables of your choice (I like eggplants, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions) cut into bite size pieces
2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Fresh basil, toasted nuts (pecans, walnuts, pine nuts, etc.), fresh ground black pepper, and/or red pepper flakes for topping
*A serving of pasta is 2 ounces so this recipe technically makes 8 servings, but realistically it will feed 4 people, maybe 6 light eaters, so I'm calling this 4 servings. But if you like your paste creamier, cut back on the pasta and keep everything else the same.
1) Cook the vegetables however you like. If I had more time/energy, I would grill my vegetables for this dish. Or at least roast them. But today I just sautéed them in a hot wok and that worked just fine. I used 8 ounces of cubed eggplant, and 8 ounces of cherry tomatoes. After cooking the vegetables, add 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar and 4 cloves raw garlic and set aside to let the vegetables marinate in the vinegar a bit.
2) In a large bowl (large enough to fit all the pasta and vegetables), combine the goat cheese, sour cream, olive oil, and onion powder. Smitten Kitchen instructs us to use fresh cheese because the crumbly kind won't melt. The cheese mixture will be chunky, don't worry about that. Once you add the hot pasta it will melt very quickly. I add sour cream to cut down the sodium a bit. If you can tolerate more sodium and want a stronger goat cheese flavor, use 5-6 ounces of fresh goat cheese and leave out the sour cream.
3) Cook the pasta according to the package and once it's ready, spoon the hot pasta directly into the bowl with the cheese mixture. The cheese should melt very quickly and coat the pasta. Add additional cooking water from the pasta as needed to thin it out. Then add the vegetables and all the balsamic vinegar that they've been sitting in and toss with fresh basil, nuts, and chili flakes and/or pepper. Serve hot!
I've just discovered Benson's Table Tasty, which went really well with this dish. It's a salt substitute that doesn't have any potassium chloride in it and I love it. Nutritional yeast or even a little bit of parmesan cheese would be great if you can tolerate more sodium.