Penne pasta covered in a tangy goat cheese sauce with rosemary and spinach. I can almost guarantee you’ll make this pasta recipe over and over and never tire of it!
How to make penne pasta with goat cheese sauce (VIDEO)
Penne Pasta, It’s what you turn to when you need to make something appear pronto on the table and that the kids are probably going to love. And it’s so easy to make if you can boil water you can make pasta. I don’t want to hear any excuses.
Usually, we stick to traditional red sauce in this house. However, every now and then, I’ll make a white béchamel and load it up with some sharp cheddar or Fontina. I like my cheese sauce to taste like cheese so I don’t skimp with it.
This was the first time I went with goat cheese though and the result was completely not what I thought it would taste like. It was super light for being a cream sauce and had an awesome tangy taste to it.
Three out of four plates were wiped clean when I put it out for dinner, what about that fourth plate? That belonged to my daughter who has a fierce loyalty to Parmesan, whatever!
Making lemon penne pasta
And the lemon? I don’t know how to explain this, just trust me. Make the pasta recipe and you’ll see that even with the zest of four lemons, the flavor is bang on. Tangy, but not so tart that you need to pucker up.
You can eat penne pasta like this for meatless Monday, or serve it like I do, with chopped grilled chicken in it. Shrimp would also be a top choice to throw in. Anything, it’s still gonna be awesome!
This is summer pasta, pure and simple. It’s made with fresh lemons picked from a friend’s tree on a weekend. The rosemary comes from my own garden. Could it be any more sustainable?
In a perfect world, you should eat this outside in the sun with a chilled glass of Chardonnay.
We should all live in a perfect pasta world!
Penne Pasta in a Lemon Rosemary cream Sauce.
- 3 cups uncooked penne pasta
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp all purpose flour
- 2 1/2 cups whole milk
- 4 whole medium size lemons zested
- 6 ounces plain goat cheese
- 2 tsp fresh chopped rosemary
- 1 1/2 cups packed, spinach leaves
- Cook the pasta as per the instructions on the pack. Drain and set aside.
- In a large pan over a medium heat melt the butter and add the flour. Whisk for 2-3 minutes until smooth.
- Gradually add the milk whisking after each addition to prevent lumps.
- Once all of the milk is added, throw in the zest, goat cheese and rosemary. Whisk again until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth.
- Add the spinach and pasta and gently fold through with a spatula. The spinach will wilt with the heat.
- Serve at once and garnish with extra chopped rosemary.
We love lemon and put it on just about everything — sometimes we’ll switch and use lime. Pasta is such a wonderful dish and so versatile. We enjoy making homemade pasta and tortellini. I guess I don’t have to tell you I’m Italian. :-) Great recipe!!
I’m obsessed with that sauce! This is spring pasta perfection!
This looks amazing but I’m not a goat cheese fan, would there be anything to substitute for it?
Hi Heidi! You could use any cheese that you like and will melt good, i’d try a Gruyere or a white cheddar :)
Love lemon. Great photos too.
Thanks Megan :)
Tried making this recipe. When I was looking at the roux, I thought 2.5 cups of milk seemed a bit much, and boy was I right. By the time the spinach started wilting, the dish was no more thick than the milk and barely tasted of anything but it. I think it would be good with maybe a cup of milk, but with 2.5 it was offensive.
Mate, another killer recipe here and LOVE the addition of goat cheese- I’d never has suspecting it in the sauce!
Cheers! I appreciate it :)
Unfortunately this turned out very bland and flavorless! Followed directions to a t and it was not good at all.
Bummed Sarah, sorry to hear that. It’s always super lemony with me.
I’m giving this four stars as my boyfriend liked it a bit more than I did. VERY quick and easy with an easy cleanup which was great. I definitely tasted the lemon zest and I love goat cheese but next time would try this with parmesan. It seemed a bit bland maybe some garlic as well?
Thank you!!! I used skim milk and added garlic, chili flakes and salt and left out the butter and flour. The lemons were an amazing touch and the sauce delicious. Goat cheese is so smart!
This honestly was the worst thing I’ve ever made. It’s way too bitter and it made me gag and get get chills. I added about 15 tons of salt just to make it taste a smidge better; however, I still couldn’t finish it and threw out the rest. I invited my boyfriend over for dinner and now he won’t even talk to me… thanks for the recipe. BLOCKED. UNFOLLOWED!
Sad to hear about your boyfriend, the goat cheese is definitely a unique flavor
Hi Linda, sounds like you might have been coming down with something! Goat cheese is definitely a unique flavor,
If your boyfriend left you over a bad dinner, I think there are more serious problems to worry about. Made me smile though
Just made this tonight. It was delicious! I did add some garlic, salt and pepper and parmesan cheese. Thanks so much, I will make it again!
Badly tasting. 2.5 c of milk way too much. Tasted like lemon flavored milk. Turned two of the people’s stomachs due to taste. The others added a ton of salt, pepper, Parmesan and anything they could get their hands on.
Made this tonight and it was delicious! I had lemon pasta noodles so I used a little less zest. Loved the creamy cheesy bright flavor.