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Penne with Goat Cheese, Mascarpone and Olives

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Penne with Goat Cheese, Mascarpone and Olives

This has been an exhausting month. We’ve been celebrating new jobs, birthdays galore, the arrival of good friends, checking out new restaurants and just enjoying all things fabulous about fall. Somewhere in there, we’ve been expected to cook. It’s possible that little piece of the pie fell through the cracks. Of course, we enjoy cooking, but perhaps this is one of those times when it felt like we had to make something. For the sake of the blog, for the sake of our readers. Is this how it feels when people get a bit of the blogging blues? If there’s one thing we both want to avoid, it’s the feeling that cooking is a chore. Some activities are hard to enjoy when they feel like obligations. When times like this arise, you find an easy way to solve the problem.

Pull ingredients out of the fridge or pantry, lay them on the counter and pick out the ones that will complement each other best. That’s a great way to approach cooking. Especially when you’re feeling lazy. There was a bit of goat cheese and mascarpone left over from a recent party, and it seemed like a great idea to add the two to a pasta dish. Marinated olives are great with citrus, so popping these two into the mix were a great way to add more flavor. You can never go wrong with fresh herbs, and that’s why we love to use them whenever we can. When a meal falls into place like this, it breaks through those cooking blues. And you get a little kick in the butt, or should we say, a kick back into gear.

What do you do when you’re feeling uninspired in the kitchen?

Penne with Goat Cheese, Mascarpone and Olives – Serves 4
12 ounces penne pasta, reserve 2 tablespoons cooking water
4 ounces goat cheese, room temperature
4 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature
Zest of 3 large oranges
1/4 cup whole black olives, diced
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, sliced
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, minced
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt

1. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and pour into a bowl, reserving 2 tablespoons of the cooking water.

2. While the pasta cooks, mix together the goat cheese, mascarpone, orange zest and the pasta cooking water.

3. Stir the cheese sauce into the pasta, then toss in the olives, basil and mint. Season with the salt and mix well.

Click HERE for the printable recipe.


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26 Responses | TrackBack URL | Comments Feed

  1. I so feel the same way!


  2. I totally get how you are feeling – blogging can be a great moments mixed in with a whole lot of bluesey ones sometimes. I love what you have cooked here when you don’t feel like cooking – it’s certainly inspirational to me. Keep on keeping on guys – don’t do it for us but know that we love your work!


  3. I read cooking magazine or check out fancy cookbooks from the library to get inspiration. Sometimes we just need to take a blog vacation too! The pasta looks amazing!


  4. ha – your “lazy dish” looks like one of mine when i’m feeling ambitious – i just did a post recently about this. didn’t even bother defrosting!!!



  5. When I need some inspiration, I start flipping through books and magazines. Then, I head to the files of pages I’ve cut from years of magazines. Sometimes it takes a while, but I eventually get excited to cook something! Love the sound of this pasta with two cheeses!


  6. I know your feelings we must declare days of 48 hours long, internationally, so many things to do!
    When I’m in a hurry salads or stews with the ingredients that are in the pantry is the best.

    Wonderful dish, love goat cheese 🙂




  7. I wonder if there’s something going around … because I’ve had the blogging/cooking blues for some time now! I think I need to take your advice and just grab what I have and get moving. Also, a lovely bowl of pasta like this wouldn’t hurt!

    I like LisaIsCooking’s idea about flipping through books and magazines to find inspiration. I need to do that too!


  8. This is one of those comforting pasta dishes that are perfect for fall!


  9. I think it’s ejection from the Foodbuzz contest that did it to me. I’ve been blue in the kitchen ever sense. But I can’t tell you how badly I want to grab a fork and dive into that bowl right now. Well done!


  10. Hi there. I think your simple ingredients put together just right, in the right proportions looks fabulous! And of course pasta = comfort.


  11. YUM! Yay for pasta Comfort!


  12. Reading this while hungry = big mistake. I love all those ingredients together, and I hope it helped some with the blogging/cooking blues!


  13. I should cook with more mascarpone. This dish is another one right up my alley. Look forward to seeing you two at the Food Buzz Festival.


  14. I like this method. I’m going to call it the grab and go method from now on. You grab something from the fridge. And go wherever the winds lead you. The winds seem to have led you to one awesome pasta. Great job.


  15. life has been extra crazy for me too… so cooking has been getting faster and more pared down by the day! Can’t wait to see you both at foodbuzz!!


  16. What a great way to snap out of the cooking blues. When I am feeling uninspired sometimes I just eat out. I tend to dwell on things too much. So when I do’t feel like cooking, I’ll get a quick bite from somewhere else and then get back in there tomorrow.


  17. I’ve been on a little “blogging break” these past few days just to recharge a little. I’ve actually been almost over-inspired to cook – so many ideas floating in my head that I’m kind of immobilized! So I just take a little step back and come back when I’m ready. 🙂


  18. I think we all hit that wall. Sometimes a week break is in order. Sometimes, I try something out of my usual techniques (cook inside, ha ha). But sometimes I just try to cook my way through it. Any way I try, none of it is fun when you get in that food funk.


  19. Well, If I were unispired in the kitchen I wouldnt have come up with this plate of scrumptiousness. Looks fabulous.

    I would have put on my heels, and did some jumping jacks.


  20. I think it is natural to want a break, there’s so much of life that you must live so that when you are reenergized you can come back and inspire us. This looks like a good recipe to file away for one of those busy weekday evenings. I love bright flavors from orange zest!


  21. I think we all get the cooking blues & the blogging blues from time to time. I like what you did here. We all have so much in our pantries & fridges that begs to be used. I bet once you got back in the kitchen everything clicked. This pasta looks happy and delicious!


  22. A divine pasta dish which include all of the flavours I love!!


  23. I know the feeling all too well. I’ve had some blogging slumps here and there. It’s not easy sometimes after having such a busy time before hand. But eventually that slump will go away. Sometimes the break away from blogging is good. That way when you come back to it it will feel as refreshing as when you first started it.


  24. I feel the sameee way sometimes, especially since the past month has been SO packed. Honestly, reading other food blogs, gives me inspiration and motivation and usually starts me back up in the kitchen again… A little mascarpone cheese never hurt either 🙂


  25. You may be going through lack of inspiration period, in your blogging, but it is not showing up in this recipe. This looks delicious. You can thrown things together, at my house, any time.

    The energy comes back. Sometimes, it is good, to just take a break for a few days or weeks.


  26. […] if you’re a pasta lover (and I know I am) The Duo Dishes Penne with Goat Cheese, Mascarpone and Olives sounds beyond comforting.  I love the idea of pairing goat cheese and marscarpone together because […]


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