Thrifty Thursdays: Rigatoni with Glazed Salmon and Goat Cheese in a Brandy-Cream Sauce with Sweet Honey White Sangria!

Summer time is the season of the swinging door, as we find ourselves running from picnics to parties or welcoming friends and family over for fun and games. Next time you plan for a double dinner date "in", give this satisfying recipe a whirl and let the casual conversation unwind!

This is a rendition of the lovely evening we shared with friends at home last night... but instead of tea, we had deliciously sweet Honey White Sangria  and an amazing dessert made by this lil' lady!

Rigatoni with Glazed Salmon and Goat Cheese
in a Brandy-Cream Sauce
(with garlic-cheese toast and broiled tomatoes!)
$30 for 4 servings

1 lb rigatoni pasta
1 lb salmon fillet (about 1 inch thick)
2 c crumbled goat cheese
2 c wild mushrooms, chopped
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 c peas
2 med. tomatoes
8 cloves garlic, (4 sliced, 4 minced)
1/2 c milk / half n' half
1/2 stick butter
olive oil for cooking
juice from 1/2 lemon
1tbsp brandy
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 c fresh herbs, chopped (parsley, oregano, thyme, etc)
salt, pepper to taste
1 baguette, sliced

1. In a square roasting pan, drizzle salmon with olive oil, mix 1/2 fresh herbs, brown sugar, salt, pepper in a small bowl, press into skinless (top) side of salmon fillet. Place garlic slices around. Let marinate at least 30 mins. Broil on hi for 8-10 mins, until moist and flaky but separates easily from skin. 
2. Slice tomatoes into wedges, place on baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper to season. Broil for 5 mins.
3. cook pasta according to directions, rinse with cool water, return to pot on low heat.
4. while pasta is cooking, sautee onion and garlic with brandy and a pinch of brown sugar and salt and pepper in olive oil until carmelized (about 3 mins). Add to pasta.
5. Drizzle bread with olive oil, parmesan, and minced garlic. Broil until golden toasty brown.
6. Add peas, mushrooms to pasta. Stir in butter, half n' half, lemon juice. Remove from heat, stir in goat cheese. Top with salmon, roasted garlic, and a pinch of fresh herbs.

...don't forget that sweet sangria!

1/2c brandy
1/4c triple sec
1 bottle sparkling wine
1 bottle sparkling water
1/2c honey
1 tsp vanilla*
1 tbsp simple syrup*
1 lemon, 1 lime, 1 grapefruit thinly sliced

1. In a large pitcher, add brandy, triple sec, honey, syrup, vanilla, and fruit. Stir well, chill for 2 hours.
2. Before serving, add wine and water, and ice.

* my creative additions to the recipe, of course!

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