This is a quick pasta supper that works well on a weeknight, but is also special enough to serve to guests. The tomato and olive salad and creamy green and white pasta complement each other perfectly.

Add a basket of sesame-seeded semolina bread and a small dish of excellent olive oil for dipping to complete the meal.


Goat cheese makes a quick, creamy sauce, pancetta adds its salty bite, and asparagus and peas stud the white pasta with green. If you cannot get pancetta, use prosciutto, or, for a vegetarian option, leave the meat out altogether.

Serves 4 to 5

2 tablespoons olive oil


3 ounces diced pancetta

1 pound slender asparagus

8 ounces sugar snap peas

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh sage

½ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes

4 ounces fresh goat cheese


1 cup thinly sliced scallions

2 tablespoons grated lemon zest

1 pound bucatini or other strand pasta

3 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese

1 cup frozen green peas

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


In a large skillet, heat oil and cook pancetta over low heat, stirring occasionally, until browned. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate, leaving drippings in pan.

Cut off tough bottom stems of asparagus and discard. Cut tips into 1-inch lengths and slice stalks into ½-inch lengths. If sugar snaps are large, cut in half on the diagonal. Add asparagus, sugar snaps, sage and pepper flakes to skillet and sauté over medium heat for about 3 minutes until vegetables are crisp-tender. Remove pan from heat and add goat cheese, scallions and lemon zest.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Scoop out about 1½ cups cooking water and reserve. Drain pasta and add to skillet. Over low heat, toss with tongs until goat cheese melts, adding enough cooking water to make a creamy sauce. Return pancetta bits to the pasta, add Parmesan and peas and toss to incorporate. Season with salt and pepper and serve.


Salty olives add their assertive flavor to this salad, which is as beautiful as it is delicious.

Serves 4 to 6


About 4 ounces arugula leaves

1½ pounds (6 medium) ripe tomatoes, cored and sliced

One quarter of a sweet white onion such as Vidalia, thinly sliced

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

½ teaspoon salt


¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

½ cup chopped imported black olives

About 15 basil leaves

Spread arugula out onto a rimmed platter. Arrange tomatoes and onion, overlapping, over the arugula. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Whisk vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper together in a small bowl. Whisk in oil and stir in olives. (Can be made up to a day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Spoon dressing evenly over the salad, garnish with basil, and serve.

Brooke Dojny is author or co-author of more than a dozen cookbooks, most recently “Chowderland: Hearty Soups & Stews with Sides and Salads to Match.” She lives on the Blue Hill Peninsula and can be contacted via Facebook at:

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