Portobello and Goat Cheese Penne | With Meyer Lemon and Thyme

While there are few risks that come with living in an RV – apart from the very real threat of the water pipes freezing in the Winter – hauling one’s 30 ft. travel trailer, as we did last weekend, is risky business through and through. I can’t speak to the experience of being in the driver’s seat with the RV attached to the truck’s hitch – that’s my SO’s domain – but even as a passenger I was white-knuckling it the whole way, especially as we drove the Coquihalla Highway – portions of which are so treacherous there’s a frigging reality TV show about it! The sketchy road conditions and 18-wheelers zooming by every few minutes made the trip extra fun… NOT.

Portobello and Goat Cheese Penne | With Meyer Lemon and Thyme

Portobello and Goat Cheese Penne | With Meyer Lemon and Thyme

We arrived in Vancouver without incident – apart from incurring 2 nicks in the windshield from gravel sprayed from the tires of a passing vehicle, and getting honked at once (we may or may not have swerved into the adjacent lane for a second; it was hard to say for sure with ice obscuring the lines on the road). A bit of a shocker awaited me inside the RV upon our arrival, however: when I stepped into the trailer, plates and bowls were EVERYWHERE. Evidently the latch on one of the cupboards failed at some point during the journey – or maybe yours truly someone neglected to ensure the cupboard was firmly shut before we left. Fortunately we’d purchased chip-resistent cups, plates and mugs for use in the RV so the only real casualty was a ceramic plate that also happened to be in the cupboard. It was smashed to bits.

Portobello and Goat Cheese Penne | With Meyer Lemon and Thyme

Portobello and Goat Cheese Penne | With Meyer Lemon and Thyme

I’m pretty excited about this recipe for a couple reasons. First of all, it gave me another opportunity to cook with Meyer lemons. Previously I’d only used them to make lemon meringue pie, and I was interested to find out how their tart-yet-sweet flavour would hold up in a savoury dish. I thought it did a fantastic job of subtly brightening up the flavour of the Portobellos, and along with the goat cheese and thyme formed an amazing triple-threat of flavour. Secondly, my SO has finally overcoming his aversion to mushrooms (thanks in large part to a segment on PBS touting their health benefits) – so I included Portobellos in this recipe with impunity! Their rich, earthy flavour and meaty texture can’t be beat.

Portobello and Goat Cheese Penne | With Meyer Lemon and Thyme

Portobello and Goat Cheese Penne | With Meyer Lemon and Thyme

There must be something in the air or water over here in Western Canada, because my fellow British Columbian blogger, Veggie Bento Love, posted a very similar pasta recipe on her blog over the weekend! Her version uses something I’ve never cooked with or even heard of – quinoa noodles – so head over to her blog and check it out (there are tons of great bento ideas there, too).

Portobello and Goat Cheese Penne | With Meyer Lemon and Thyme

Portobello and Goat Cheese Penne | With Meyer Lemon and Thyme

Recipe: Portobello and Goat Cheese Penne | With Meyer Lemon and Thyme

Makes 4 servings


  • 2 cups penne pasta (or your choice of gluten free pasta)
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil (plus more to serve)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or less if you don’t like spiciness)
  • 2 Portobello mushrooms, diced into 1/2″ cubes
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme, minced
  • Juice and zest of 1 Meyer lemon (or 1 small conventional lemon)
  • 1/4 cup goat cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Prepare penne: Cook penne according to package instructions, or until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside until needed.

Finish pasta: Heat 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over low-medium heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and saute just until garlic is fragrant and golden brown. Add diced mushrooms and thyme and season lightly with salt. Cover skillet and let mushrooms reduce, stirring periodically – about 5 minutes. Once mushrooms are tender, fold in cooked pasta, then lemon juice and zest. Crumble goat cheese into skillet and gently fold to combine. Remove from heat.

Serve, topping each portion with a drizzle of olive oil and freshly ground black pepper. Eat!

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13 thoughts on “Portobello and Goat Cheese Penne | With Meyer Lemon and Thyme

  1. I should have put red pepper flakes in for some heat – great idea! My goat cheese had herbs on it, so I used that for the flavour profile, but mushrooms and thyme are a great combo. I can’t imagine driving the Coquihalla, let alone in an RV – although snow in winter, tourists in summer… maybe there is no ideal time to go on it?

    • The red pepper flakes do give it a nice kick! I love herbed goat cheese – didn’t think to use it in this recipe but maybe I’ll throw some in next time. I don’t think there is an ideal time to drive the Coquihalla – I’m just thankful my boyfriend is relatively comfortable hauling the RV… he’s a lineman for BC Hydro and drives around all day in a massive bucket truck, so large vehicles are nothing new to him!

  2. Hey Hannah…you have an amazing ability for writing recipes that are exactly the sort of thing I like to eat! 🙂 Unfortunately my boyfriend can’t stand mushrooms… and I fear it’s an aversion that’s with him for life!

  3. I’m big on lemon and started adding it to some of my pasta dishes. I tried a Meyer lemon once, it reminded me of kalamansi, a small citrus used in Filipino cooking. Always nice to try new foods! 🙂

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