Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tasty Tuesday: Cheese of La Mancha!

One of the additions to my Bucket List that I made while on vacation recently was to sample every different kind of cheese in the world before I die. While some might argue that such a pastime would hasten my death, I disagree. In my humble opinion, the production of cheese is one of mankind's greatest achievements, and if eating it means that I will die a bit sooner, well, then, so be it. Just grate up a bit of Manchego cheese on your spaghetti sometime and you'll see what I mean.

In an effort to eat healthier, organic foods, I've been buying a variety of things I've never tried before, and I'm pretty sure that those old world cheeses have been produced organically since they first began making them who knows how long ago. Made in the La Mancha region of Spain from sheep's milk and its production carefully controlled, if Manchego cheese isn't labeled as organic, it probably should be.

At any rate, I made this spaghetti dinner for the DH and myself a while back, and if it wasn't the best we'd ever tasted, it came damn close.

Spaghetti with Manchego Cheese

Saute in 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil:
1 lb lean ground beef
1/4 cup sliced black olives
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced

Then add:
1 24 oz jar of organic pasta sauce (I used Bertolli with olive oil, basil, & garlic) and cook over medium low heat until sauce is thickened.

Cook organic whole wheat spaghetti according to package directions. Drain.

Heat 2 tbsp organic butter with 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and 2 tbsp pesto in a pan until butter is melted and sizzling. Add drained pasta and toss until coated. Top with the Bertolli sauce mixture and liberally sprinkle with grated Manchego cheese.


  1. I think I've had manchego cheese before. Not sure though. That recipe sounds absolutely delicious though. I was watching a special on Food Network about how they make cheese and the process is crazy but cheese is good.

    The hunk though. Mm I'll take him with the spaghetti and after too. All night if necessary.

  2. Hi everyone!

    That recipe sounds delicious and easy to make! Definately will try it out!

    I will also take the hunk to go with the dinner! Yummy!

  3. LOL! The fun part was looking for Spanish hunks, Ana. This is the one that came up the most, and I can understand why!

    The recipe is pretty easy, Razlover. Nothing I ever make up on my own is very hard. I watch Food Network once in a while, and some of the things those restaurant people do amaze me. Of course, I'm sure that having all those unusual ingredients and equipment right there ready to go helps a lot!

  4. Whoopee, This Spaghetti and Cheese sounds delicious. And this hunk makes me want to do the Paso Doble! OLE' Yummy Butt Crack too.

  5. Wow! Does he have blue eyes? He really has a perfect face. Great cheekbones, and did you catch the nose Cheryl? I'm sure you did! The second pic, with the wine-couldn't help checking out the butt...that little dip at his lower back, very enticing don't you think Ana?

    I love me some pasta-any kind really! We have a Spaghetti Factory here and they have a past dish called something like Spaghetti with brown butter and mizithra cheese. K, I have no clue what mizithra cheese is, but it's delicious. Probably can find it in a store that has specialty cheese section. IDK, haven't really looked.

    Hey Cheryl, the La Mancha cheese...made from sheeps milk--is it anything like goat cheese? I'm thinking, goat, sheep...too similar and I cannot eat goat cheese. Curious though...

  6. Never heard of the cheese, though the recipe sounds good. If I could have the hunk with the wine cook for me, it would be great!

  7. This guy is a definite poster boy for the allure of the butt crack, isn't he, Donna. Not all guys can pull that off, but he does it VERY well!

    His eyes look more green to me, Lisa, but it may just be my computer! Not sure about the goat/sheep thing. No clue. Are you allergic to the goat cheese?

    Ooo, yeah, Jessica! A guy like that who can COOK??? It's every woman's dream!

  8. No, not allergic to goat cheese, just don't like the bitterness and aftertaste. I don't know how to explain it. I think it's more mental. I grew up on a farm. My grandfather had many goats. We'd play with the babies and the males, as they matured, would start doing their marking thing. They always had this odd smell, but we played with them anyway. So, the goat cheese, reminds me of that smell and I can't eat it.
    I was just curious if the La Mancha cheese tasted like the goat cheese, but if you've not had goat cheese, then you wouldn't know. :)

  9. LOL! Never played with goats, either! I'd have to make a taste comparison to be sure it didn't taste like a goat, but this Manchego cheese is more like a Parmesan than anything. Sort of a cross between that and gouda.

  10. I wanted the pants to be just that little bit lower XD

    Word verification is happil one letter away from happily lol.

  11. hey there ladies! the recipe looks great. 4 the man, just pass the cheese whiz, i am sure i can find something 2 do with it! i dont need all the expensive cheeses, just the fun ones.

    mom's doing better in indianapolis. doing tests, getting her well. thanks 4 all your prayers & support. power of prayer does make a difference. as i have told u b4, & i am sure i will say it again:

    LOVE U ALL!!!!!

  12. I think we'd all be happily if the pants were just a little lower, Ana!

    Great news, Paulette! Get some cheeze whiz and celebrate!

  13. Lisa, I used to have a herd of goats, and made cheese from their milk, and I understand what you said about the cheese tasting like the billygoats smelled, but that's not true of goat cheese made from nannys that are kept without a billy around! I used to bring in a billy once a year, to breed the nannys and 'freshen them up', but then I took him back to his home, until next years goat orgy---since my nannys ran loose, we'd chain the billy to an oak tree in front of our house, haul out the lawn chairs and homemade beer, and watch and LAUGH while the nannys used the billy as their boy-toy!! We had no electricity, so no radio or TV, and this was one of our favorite entertainments...

    Back to the cheese--Mizithra is either goat or sheep milk cheese, I think--and all goat cheese doesn't taste musky and sour. Fresh cheve (or goat cheese) is very clean tasting and delicious! I used to trade the extra cheese to an old Swiss lady who was the reigning queen of a small family winery near Paso Robles, called the Rotta Winery--for gallon bottles of their wine! She said it was just like the cheese she'd grown up on in Switzerland, and she couldn't find it anywhere else. By the way, the local health food store here, called Sprouts, carries chunks of Mizithra all the time, along with Manchego and lots of other yummy types---I'm with Cheryl on this one, I LOVE cheeses, even though they're not exactly a diet food! They contain way too much fat for most diets, but I just don't care--I'd rather go without some other fats and eat the cheese!

    The Rotta Winery was bought out long ago, and that house has been torn down because the land (in Big Sur) reverted to the State Park--it had been a mining claim from the 1800's that then-Senator Farr had gotten his hands on and used as a hunting cabin, and we were the caretakers--but he hardly ever came up there anymore. When, years later, we moved into schoolbusses and travelled the western states, the goats all went into other local herds--and their descendants are still there, as I found out when I visited through the years. I still love goat cheese, but, like you, NOT the kind that tastes like you scraped it out from between a billygoat's horns!!

  14. Hola Miquel!

    Parlez vouz Francais? Si? Bueno y manifique!

    Voulez Vou Couche avec mois?


    Oh, and Cheryl? I agree with you about the cheeses More later

  15. Looks yummy the man and the food lol though u can always mix the two and make it better hehe.

  16. WHOA! Yum on both counts but if I had to choose between the two, you can bet it would be Miquel;)

    I'm not a big cheese connoisseur but I LOVES goat or feta...especially with kalamata olives.

  17. @Suzy-thanks for that clarification. I'm glad I didn't know Mizithra was made from goat or sheep's milk. I remember it being more salty than anything. I loved it! LOL at your billy goat story! Where the heck did you live that you had no electricity? Was it by choice? Love the Paso Robles area. My son played in some soccer tournaments out in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obisbo but we just drove thru PR. I would have loved to stop, but there was no time. I've heard wonderful things about the wineries. I'll get back there someday!

  18. Lisa--We lived in the hills in the south part of Big Sur for 7 years, by choice, and loved it! We were hippies, and loved living in that "back to the land" way. My goats (about 20-30 of them) ran loose in the national forest, and tho we lost a few to coyotes, cougar, and stupid hunters every year, they kept having kids and came home twice a day to get milked and scarf some hay and goat-chow, and, in bad weather, they had a neat shed to keep them safe and warm. They were affectionate and funny critters. I really loved them, and they were a lot of company and amusement. We were about 75 miles south of a town, and 10 miles off the hiway, so my first 2 children were born at home. That's where I learned to cook with a woodstove, garden for sustainence, haul water, chop wood and so much more...I'm to old to work that hard anymore!!

    The Rotta Winery was on the little, beautiful hiway that goes from Hiway 1, south of Cambria, over to Hiway 101 by Paso Robles. It's still got lots of wineries on it, but all the little, family ones are now absorbed by the big wineries--but they still let you taste the wine, just not under the trees at a picnic table, with the family all around, sharing whatever food you brought...those WERE the good old days!!

    I feel blessed that I was lucky enough to get to be there, then. And I'm glad my small knowledge of cheese was helpful to someone! I love the Sphagetti Factory, too---and they make a dish of broccoli with Mizithra cheese that is also great, and easy to copy at home.

  19. Hola Olde and Acisse! Haven't heard from you two for a while! Thanks for dropping by!

    Have you seen my Kalamata Olive bread recipe, Nancy? It would go great with this cheese, too!

    No kidding, Suzy. Cheese is one thing I just can't live without. Unfortunately, it's helped make me the woman I am today! I'm LMAO over the billie goat boy toy. OMG!!!