goat cheese walnut & beetroot spaghetti

One day, not so long ago, I decided it was about time to start writing a blogpost. I was full of inspiration. It had to be a recipe-post, as I'm head over heels into food at the moment. It was going to be something French, I love most things French. French cuisine, yes. But I didn't want it to be classic. It was going to be a take on French classics, or at least using Frenchy-ingredients [and a bit of cheating here and there]. I was going to make the following appetizers (or whatever you would like to call them).

I was bloody sure this was going to be a feast.

And I did my best at taking proper food-photos (adding light and all).

Carrot / Beetroot / Goat cheese mousse / Bacon / Tarragon vinaigrette
Top: filo pastry / camembert / apricot jam / almonds -
Bottom: Bruschettas with truffle&mushroom, tuna tapenade & tuna&orange.

And it turned out really quite disappointing. I was hoping, seeing the 'amount of effort' I put in, that it was going to be amazing. They were alright though, just not fantastic or great. What was I thinking? I can't possibly have assumed it's easy to just come up with something utterly delicious and great and flavoursome without any technical skills and enough knowledge on ingredients.

But I felt quite sad nonetheless, the pictures weren't what I wanted them to be, the food was most definitely not what I had hoped for, and the kitchen was a mess. Later that night, I thought of a tiny solution: one of the things I had made that day might better work in a totally different dish. 
That made me feel slightly better. And also, although making up your own combinations is much fun, there's no use to it if you don't really understand flavours, and are scared of too much herbs or salt or pepper etc. So I looked online for a classic French cookbook, that will teach me basics and classics. Will probably order Michel Roux Jr.'s book, but for now I borrowed my sister's Recettes Pour Bien Vivre

So the next day...


The next day.... I made goat cheese & walnut spaghetti!

One of the appetizers above was made with goat cheese mousse; a recipe I found in Rachel Khoo's cookbook (look here!). This turned out great; really creamy and fluffy. 
I always find goat cheese can be really overpowering in a dish, it's just so full of flavour, it can be too much. For me at least. This recipe takes away the overpowering bit of goat cheese, and leaves you with a nice cream that you can eat all day long! In the appetizer it didn't really work, it lacked finesse. So I added it to a big bowl of spaghetti ;). 

And that was good! One to write down, one to repeat!

Recipe (serves approx 4)

Soft goat cheese - 200 g 
I used cheap stuff, but I might be worth your while to spend a bit more)
Milk - 8 table spoons
Whipped cream - 250 ml
Beetroot - two precooked bulbs
Pancetta - 8 slices [or more if you like]
Parsley - handfull, chopped
Basil - handfull, chopped
Walnuts - handfull, chopped
Walnut oil 

1.  Boil water for the spaghetti.
2.  Soften the goat cheese with the milk into a smooth paste [with a fork]. 
3. Whip the cream until stiff. 
4.  Add half the cream to the goat cheese mixture, mix until smooth [by hand].
5. Fold in the rest of the cream, and leave in the fridge. 
6. Cook spaghetti.
7. Chop parsley, basil and walnuts and put aside. 
8. Bake pancetta until crispy and place aside. 
9. Thinly slice the beetroot. 
10. Once spaghetti is al dente, put together all ingredients, starting with the goat cheese mousse. Finish with a drizzle of walnut oil. 

The beetroot is nice for sweetness, the walnuts give a crunch, the goat cheese makes it really creamy [kind of like a carbanora, but different],  the pancetta adds extra crunch and saltiness and the walnut oil an extra subtle nutty flavour. Easy!