Lemon, rosemary, capers, goat cheese - they taste like summer to us, and they all go into this fresh, tangy pasta. We especially love the fried capers - one of our favorite ways to dress up a dish. It's easy to make them; just fry drained capers in a little olive oil until they open like tiny buds, with layers of crisp, delicate petals standing out from the juicy center.
This can be served as a hot dish or as a warm pasta salad. If you refrigerate it the fried capers will lose some of their crispness, but none of their flavor.
Pasta with Fried Capers, Lemon and Goat Cheese
serves 4 or more
1 pound pasta - preferably radiatori, rocchetti, or bowtie
5 ounces soft, mild goat cheese
8 ounces large capers, drained and rinsed
4 cloves of garlic, sliced thin or minced
1 tablespoon rosemary
Zest of 2 lemons
Salt and pepper
Cook the pasta just until tender in boiling salted water. Drain and immediately stir in about half the goat cheese, letting it melt over the hot pasta. Set pasta to the side to cool.
In a heavy frying pan heat about 1/4 inch of olive oil over medium heat. Pat the capers dry in paper towels, then fry in the hot olive oil in batches - lifting out with a slotted spoon and draining on a plate lined with paper towels.
Heat any remaining olive oil in the frying pan over low heat and add the garlic. Slowly cook it until soft and golden - don't let it brown or burn. At the very end add the rosemary and cook until soft along with the garlic.
Drizzle the olive oil, along with the garlic and rosemary, over the pasta. Toss with the capers, salt and pepper, lemon zest, and the remaining goat cheese - crumbled into large, firm chunks.