Farfalle with Brie and Fresh Basil

When I first moved to Santa Barbara I learned about an adult education cooking class one could take. It was ridiculously cheap. I don’t remember how much it cost to take the class exactly, but the instructor would buy the food, we would cook it and then eat it. It was usually three courses at least. I remember the head of the adult education program would come to the class and do no cooking, he just chatted with some of the other adults who also did nothing. Only about half the class actually cooked. But of course, they would help us eat! I really did not mind. It was really fun.

Anyway, I distinctly remember this dish because it is incredibly easy and really good. Nothing is cooked except the pasta. When the hot pasta is added, the brie melts and forms a wonderful sauce. The addition of a bit of Gorgonzola and walnuts or toasted pine nuts really amps up the already great flavor. You really want to make this with the Farfalle pasta. It would not work well with Spaghetti or Penne. Instead of cut-up Roma tomatoes, you can use cherry tomatoes. Cut them in half and squish them to bring out the juice.

Great hearty meal for cold Spring evenings. Kids are still in school, spouses are busy. It takes just minutes and allows the whole family time at the dinner table where you can catch up on days activities and the adults can have that second glass of wine.


Author: Jim Kirkley

A super simple recipe that turns out surprisingly well. Jim got this recipe when he took a cooking class at the Santa Barbara Adult Education Center.

Can add a bit of Gorgonzola and some chopped walnuts or toasted pine nuts for an extra bit of flavor.

Serves: 4

Farfalle with Brie and Fresh Basil


1 pound, Farfalle (bow tie) pasta – cooked al dente in salted water
1 pound, brie
2 cups, fresh Roma tomatoes – cut in 1/4″ cubes
1/2 fresh basil – shredded
2 cloves, garlic – pressed
1/2 cup, high quality extra virgin olive oil
1 dash, red pepper flakes
salt and pepper – to taste
Gorgonzola cheese – (optional)
walnuts – chopped (optional)
toasted pine nuts – (optional)


  1. In a large glass or ceramic bowl break up pieces of brie with your fingers, rind and all. Add the tomatoes, pressed garlic, basil, olive oil and red pepper flakes. Hold out a bit of the basil for garnish.
  2. Let sit for at least one hour at room temperature before using to allow flavors to marry.
  3. When ready to eat, cook the pasta and drain well, reserving a bit of the pasta water. Immediately toss with the cheese mixture and a bit of pasta water and serve.



One thought on “Farfalle with Brie and Fresh Basil

  1. I can’t wait to try this! I got some farfalle by accident & was wondering what to do with it. Brie is going on my shsopping list — thanks!

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