Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Alfredo

I'm still not sure how I feel about goat cheese, but this type of recipe leans me in a more positive feeling direction. And, it is really, really fast, perfect for days like today when your staff meeting runs long. Original recipe here, but I did make several changes.

whole wheat linguine*
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
4-5 small cloves of garlic, minced
3/4 cup Greek yogurt
1/4-1/2 cup non-fat milk
4 oz herbed goat cheese
2/3 cup grated parmesan
1 jar roasted red peppers, drained
salt and pepper, to taste
1 small jar artichoke hearts**, rinsed and drained
1 cup peas**
1 cup cooked, shredded chicken**

Cook the linguine to al dente, drain, and set aside. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a non-stick pan, and saute the garlic and onion for 5 minutes or so. Mix the Greek yogurt and milk together to the texture you want, then add the yogurt mixture and goat cheese to the pan. Turn the heat to low, and toss until everything is smooth and melted. Put the yogurt and onion mixture in the food processor, along with the parmesan and red peppers, but put the pan back on the stove, and turn the heat back up to medium. Saute the peas, artichoke hearts, and chicken for a few minutes while you process the yogurt and onion mixture until it is smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste (it took about 1/4 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper for me). Toss it with the linguine and artichoke hearts, peas, and chicken, and garnish with basil before serving.

* I used between 1/3 and 1/2 of a box and it was enough for half of this recipe. I like my pasta pretty saucy (ha!), so make more or less as you desire. I am guessing this sauce would freeze really well also.
**these are optional ingredients

I really liked this, and will probably make it again, for several reasons. I think this could be really versatile, for one. It seems like any soft cheese would work well in this recipe, so if goat cheese isn't your thing, try something else. Secondly, you could add any vegetables you like. I bet this would be really good with asparagus. Also, it is really fast. It took me 15 minutes from start to finish (although my chicken was already cooked). In addition, while I really don't use a lot of canned foods anymore, this recipe lends itself to using healthy canned foods like roasted red peppers (a giant pain to make on my own), and asparagus hearts (also a giant pain to access from a raw asparagus). And finally, this is a large recipe, so it would be easy to cut in half, or freeze for later. As is, it made enough for my dinner and probably 3 lunches, and I only used half of the sauce.

Rating: 4.5/5
Why? I think the sauce needed basil, which I guess would make it closer to this red pepper pesto, but I just think it needed something. Next time!!

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