Shrimp and Spaghetti in a Goat-Cheese Tarragon Sauce

Spaghetti and Shrimp in Goat Cheese Sauce

One of the best tips I often  use for pasta and sauce recipes is to reserve a 1/4-1/2 cup of pasta water,  ladled right from the pot just before draining the pasta. I then add it to the
pasta sauce.

The water contains starch and flavor and helps the  pasta adhere to the sauce when they are tossed together. I’ve also discovered  that combining the hot water with soft, creamy goat cheese makes a delicious,  practically instant, pasta sauce.

Bags of raw, shell-on medium-sized (26 to 30 count)  frozen shrimp are a great deal at $9.99 at Meijer. Although shelling a pound of shrimp after  cooking sucks up a solid 10 minutes, I never purchase cooked or shelled shrimp.  Pre-cooked and shelled shrimp seem flavorless to me. I often cook my shrimp, as  well, in Old Bay Seasoning.

Recipe: Shrimp and Spaghetti in a Goat-Cheese Tarragon Sauce


  • 12 ounces spaghetti (I used whole wheat)
  • 1/4 cup reserved pasta water (see above notes)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon (1 teaspoon dry)
  • 5 ounces soft goat cheese
  • 1 pound cooked shrimp (see above notes)
  • Red pepper flakes


  1. Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions. Before draining, ladle out 1/4 cup pasta water and reserve.
  2. In a sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute. Crumble goat cheese into pan, and, with a fork, mash into the garlic and oil. Then add reserved pasta water. Combine pasta water and goat cheese and whisk until smooth.
  3. Stir in tarragon and shrimp; season to taste with kosher salt and red pepper flakes. Serve with pasta.

Time: 25 minutes

Number of servings (yield): 3-4 servings (with plenty of shrimp)

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