Creamy Goat Cheese and Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta with Roasted Garlic and Mushrooms

As we speak, my house has the most wonderfully fragrant smell permeating every inch of space. It's the only smell that's just a touch superior to baked apples and cinnamon, chocolate chip cookies, or browned butter. It's the kind of smell that makes even the fullest person immediately hungry. I'm talking about the sweet sweet smell of buttery roasted garlic.

I was able to roast garlic and boil pasta and make this creamy goat cheese sauce because my baby went to daycare today, and for the first time in just over a year I'm by myself - ALL DAY!!! I spent the first half of the day panicking because I felt like I had so much to do before picking him up, but I also couldn't think straight because I was panicking about LEAVING HIM AT DAYCARE. What happens if he eats something and chokes? What happens if he gets sick? What happens if someone tries to steal him? All completely irrational thoughts, but nonetheless, my crazy thoughts. I think the teachers at the daycare could sense my fear because I've received two emails and a picture collage of the things he's been doing over the course of the day, and it has been ever so reassuring. Sebastian, on the other hand, was not even phased by the change in scenery.

This daycare thing is going to be a permanent fixture on our schedule because it is so impossible for me to get anything done around the house these days, and having just two days to myself will allow me to blog and clean and rake leaves and do all the things that I sit around the house dreaming that I could do. I'm going to try and attempt a chocolate krantz cake, master the art of sourdough, catch up on New Girl, try to finish painting all the trim in our house, and blow dry my hair. I don't even know what I did with all that free time before I had him.

New and exciting things that have been happening around here:

- we hired a babysitter to watch Sebastian for a few hours on the weekends. She is my friend's neighbor, she is 13, and she seems so young, but she is studious and sweet and I am pretty sure she has no desire to drink my wine or invite boys over to our house. All things that I probably would have done at her age. It's so nice to be able to go out for dinner at a reasonable time and drink wine with all the other young respectable people in my age group. Although one thing that I have learned is that when you go out for dinner at 5pm the food is always extra fresh and extra delicious, because it's never rushed and the wait staff is always super attentive cause you are usually the only people in the restaurant.

- we are making some progress on the kitchen remodel after a short hiatus. We grouted the backsplash, added a few drawers to the island and pretty soon I'm going to have to narrow in on a paint color. If everything goes as planned, we should have our kitchen finished by the end of next year. Seriously, if it takes that long, I will lose my mind.

- I am currently binge-watching a super trashy show called Shameless, and it is taking over my life. I am now at the stage where I am fast forwarding through episodes just so I can be done with it. The show is like one big train wreck that you just can't turn away from.

- last week I went to the Blue Ribbon Cooking School where I drank wine and cooked a five-course meal with Siggi from Siggi's yogurt. I was really excited to attend because I often have to turn these sort of events down due to childcare, or lack thereof.

- last but not least, I am considering bangs and it's making me feel all sorts of uncomfortable - like there is no going back once it's done. For those of you who have bangs, do you love them? Are they high-maintenance? Do you regret your decision? I once had to grow out a pixy cut and it was the worst. Are growing out bangs similar?

I guess we should finally talk about this pasta because Sebastian is going to be home from daycare soon and I have exactly 1 1/2 hours left to clean the kitchen, walk the dogs, and tweeze my eyebrows. This dish was inspired by the fact that I no longer give a shit about being bathing suit ready and I just want to curl up on the couch in my sweatpants and eat big heaping bowls of cheesy pasta, cause it is gross outside and I'm going into hibernation. The end. I love this pasta because it's creamy and tangy and salty and rich. It's exactly what I am looking for in a winter pasta. I haven't cooked with sun-dried tomatoes since 2007, so I thought I would buy a jar and give them a spin and it was so worth it. If you're looking for a comforting dish of creamy pasta with salty bits of deliciousness scattered throughout, then look no further. This is your dish.

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serves 4

prep time: 5 minutes

cooking time: 20 minutes

1 garlic bulb

1 tsp olive oil

2 cups chanterelle mushrooms, chopped

1/3 cup onions, chopped

3 oz jar of sun-dried tomatoes in oil

8 oz dry spaghetti

1 1/2 tsp paprika

4 oz soft goat cheese

1 cup half and half cream

1 lemon

1 tsp salt

1 tsp dried chili flakes

1/2 cup kalamata olives, sliced

Preheat the oven to 400ºF.

Peel away most of the thin papery skin from the garlic bulb, while still keeping the bulb intact. Slice off the top of the garlic bulb to expose the tops of the cloves. Drizzle the olive oil over the cut part of the garlic and let the oil drip into the bulb. Wrap the bulb in foil and bake for 40 minutes. You'll know when the garlic is done when the center is soft and easy to pierce with a fork. Remove from the oven and let cool. Peel away the skin from the garlic.

Chop half of the garlic cloves, the mushrooms, onions, and the sun-dried tomatoes (save the sun-dried tomato oil).

Preheat a large frying pan on medium heat. To the frying pan, add the chopped garlic, mushrooms, onions, sun-dried tomatoes and the sun-dried tomato oil. Fry until the mushrooms and soft and the onions begin to caramelize - approximately 10 minutes.

Heat a large pot of water to boil. Once boil, add the pasta and cook until al dente.

Add the paprika, goat cheese, and cream to the tomato mixture. Simmer on low until the pasta is done.

Once the pasta is done, toss with the sauce. If the sauce if too thick add some of the pasta water to thin it out. Add the juice from one lemon, salt, dried chili flakes, sliced olives, and the rest of the roasted garlic to the pasta and toss. Serve warm.