It can happen to anybody: you’re gearing up to finish off a comforting, creamy pasta when all of a sudden, the sauce collapses into a grainy, stringy mess. Thankfully, Christopher Kimball has a solution. In his 2018 Beard Award–nominated tome, Milk Street, Kimball first swaps the fussy hard cheese you’d find in a typical fettuccine alfredo or cacio e pepe for a more user-friendly fresh goat cheese. Then, taking a tip from the legendary Marcella Hazan, he quickly combines the chèvre with olive oil before adding it to the pan. This extra step breaks down the protein bonds in the cheese and transforms the sauce into a luscious, decadent coating for the noodles. Toss in chopped walnuts, peppery baby arugula, and a handful of fresh chives at the last minute and you’ve got a satisfying weeknight dinner that comes together in the time it takes to boil pasta. Get the recipe.
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Frank Guerriero is the media intern at the Beard Foundation. Find him on Instagram.