These two recipes for avocado goat cheese spread and spicy penne pasta from Amenity Home are so easy to make- there’s no excuse to not try them the next time you’re hungry but don’t really feel like ‘cooking’ (but still want to have something nice to eat). Of course I may be a bit biased because half of Amenity Home is named Kristina, but you can try these recipes and judge for yourself! Click here for the full recipe or just click “read more” below. Buon Appetito! –Kristina
About Amenity Home: After becoming friends at art school in San Francisco, Californian Nicole Chiala went on to work in publishing in London and Minnesota-native Kristina de Corpo to the advertising world of New York. Only when they both ended up in Los Angeles–a place where the wild and refined collide–did they see the way to combine their passions. Working from real cuttings taken from their gardens and walks in LA, they craft elegant, untamed designs to be silk screened onto luxuriously pure organic fabrics. The two founded Amenity Home in 2004 to ‘bring the solace of nature home’.
Amenity Home’s Avocado goat cheese spread and Spicy Penne Pasta
Wine Pairing: Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains Santa Cruz Mountain Estate 2005
Avocado goat cheese spread (Kristina’s recipe)
• 2 ripe avocados
• 2 logs of goat cheese, about 8 ounces (the cheese to avocado ratio should be 1:1, or 4oz per avocado)
• 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• salt and pepper
Mash all the ingredients until the mixture is a uniform texture and a lovely shade of pale celadon green.
About this recipe: The beauty of this dish is that it can go two ways: It can be served with hearty tortilla chips to serve with Mexican fare and is a surprising alternative to the standard guacamole, or it can go Mediterranean. We love it because everyone is always stumped as to what’s in it. Whenever we serve it, people always ask for the recipe. It also travels well if you put the seeds from the avocado an inch deep into the spread in a bowl and tightly cover with plastic. Keep it refrigerated until you leave for the party.
Spicy penne pasta (Nicole’s recipe)
This is another quick recipe when you’re having a group over at the last minute. It’s so easy and people are always intrigued by it.
• 4 tomatoes
• 1 tablespoon rinsed capers
• 1 tablespoon fresh cracked pepper (don’t be afraid, put it all in!)
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 tablespoon dried red pepper (put a little less if you want it less spicy)
• 4 garlic cloves
• 1/4 cup fresh mint
• 1/4 cup fresh basil
• 1/2 fresh parsley
• 1/4 olive oil
• 1/2 cup grated pecorino romano
• extra cheese and parsley for garnish
Add all the ingredients except for the cheese to a blender and slowly add olive oil and blend until smooth. Toss with cooked penne and add pecorino cheese. To serve, sprinkle top with extra cheese and parsley.
About this recipe: People love the unusual contrast of flavors of the mint and spiciness with the fresh expected flavors of the tomato and basil. Grilled sausage goes great as a side dish or grilled chicken marinated in garlic, basil, olive oil and salt and pepper. Like the avocado goat cheese spread, it’s so easy to prepare. It is also a good use of our tomatoes and herbs that we grow every year in our summer gardens. And it’s always fun to serve dishes that get people ingredient guessing!
Photography by Kristina Gill
About the wine:
Ridge Santa Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay 2005 (Click for full review)
These dishes could be served with a full body white wine or a light-medium body red. Given the arrival of summer, I have opted for a full-bodied white.
The Ridge Chardonnay is fermented in-barrel, resulting in great richness with honey and butter flavors. These components will stand up to the tomatoes, cheese and herbs in the pasta. The wine also has very nice acidity and minerality which will compliment the avocado and goat cheese.
The 2005 might be a little difficult to find, but the winery just released the 2006 and it can be purchased at the winery’s website. You could also select a light to medium body red, like a Pinot Noir — with lots of bright fruit and acidity. Of course, these are just some ideas — always trust your own palate. It’s what matters most! -Tom