Goat’s Cheese Lemon and Pea Pasta

This was another recipe from Jungle Frog’s Donna Hay Food Styling and Photography Challenge. Unlike the past few challenges, this one was a very easy recipe and the styling was pretty easy too.

I again purchased a few props for this challenge.  I was thinking about buying an old frying pan from Goodwill and spray painting it white but then I thought eating from a spray painted pan might be a little toxic.  I decided to check out ebay and came across a ceramic white fry pan sizzler server for $10 and it worked out pretty well for the shot.  I also needed a white napkin.  I was just telling Mark a few weeks ago that it was weird that I have so many different colored napkins but no white and that I should get some.  I figured plain white napkins would be pretty easy to find, not so much.  I didn’t want a whole stack of em, just one.  I ended up just buying one at Fred Meyer at the last minute.  The only white ones they had were checkered pattern ones but luckily you can’t see the pattern in the photo.

This is the second challenge in the last few months that contained peas.  I hated peas as a kid and I still don’t care for them much.  I have never even bought them for myself except for these two challenges.  The first recipe with them turned out pretty good so I decided to take another chance on them and this recipe was pretty tasty too.  I added the peas after draining the pasta though to keep the peas bright green for the photo. Now if a recipe comes up that calls for lima beans, I’m going to pass. If you want more information on how to participate in the challenges, check out the DHSPC page.

For my version of the photo, I used my light tent and a piece of white board in the front to bounce back some of the light to get rid of the harsh shadows. I bounced the flash at about 1/4 power into the inside left wall of the tent.

Centered below is the photo of the dish from one of last summer’s issues of Donna Hay Magazine taken by William Meppem and styled by David Morgan


I did one version of the photo with the blue hue similar to the original and another without the blue hue.  I don’t usually like photos, especially food photos that have a blue hue. It makes me think the photographer had the camera on the wrong white balance setting but I tried it out just to show that it can be done and it’s not some special light they only have in Australia.  Here is how I did it:
How to add a blue hue to your photo:
You either need to shoot in RAW or take multiple pictures at different white balance settings to achieve this look.  In RAW you can change the color balance of your photos to whatever you want. You can try to change the white balance in post processing with a JPG but it will not look as good, trust me.  I used Lightroom to make the photo look normal with correct white balancing and exported that file into photoshop then I modified the RAW file again to change the color balance to have a blue tone and exported that into photoshop. I copied the blue looking photo as a new layer on top of the normal one, added a mask and painted over the mask to remove the blue hue from the pasta because blue pasta is just not appetizing.  I also added a gradient mask so the top half of the photo would be less blue than the bottom half.  And there you have it. It took  less than 10 mins of Lightroom/Photoshop work to get this look.

Goat Cheese Lemon and Pea Pasta Pasta with blue hue

Goat’s Cheese Lemon and Pea Pasta
400g penne pasta
2 Cups frozen peas
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 Tbsp lemon zest
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp olive oil
240g goat’s cheese, crumbled
50g baby arugula
sea salt
cracked black pepper
Cook pasta in saucepan of salted boiling water per package directions, adding peas in at the last minute or until al dente.  Drain and return to the pan.  Add the garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice and olive oil and toss well to coat. Add the goat’s cheese, arugula, salt and pepper and mix until just combined and serve.

Pan of Pasta

Pasta Setup

Author: Paula Thomas


8 thoughts on “Goat’s Cheese Lemon and Pea Pasta

  1. Aha! I knew that changing the white balance would get me a blue hue ofcourse but for some silly reason I never thought of applying a mask and making the pasta it's original color… I guess I just think it is too much work..lol… But I love your shots and I love that little pan you got! Really good! I love peas, but I promise I will not be picking anything with lima beans (which incidentally I don't even know what those are..) 🙂


  2. Good, be glad you don't know what they are. They are nasty but apparently some people like them. They look kind of like soy beans and for the longest time I wouldn't eat soy beans because they looked like lima beans and was afraid they tasted like them too. I was pleasantly surprised that I liked soy beans.


  3. Nicely done Paula! I have to agree with you, I like the one without the blue hue too… On another note, I'm curious at how speedy the speedy dinners are…I definitely need to take a closer look at that book. :-)Looks yummy!!


  4. Lisa, this one is from a Donna Hay magazine and not a book. This one only took about 20 mins to make. Most of it is just cooking the pasta the rest is zesting a lemon and crushing garlic. I probably spent more time taking pictures of it than I did making it. lol


  5. You're photography is wonderful, but I don't care for the blue cast. I personally have always striven for reasonable white balance, but played with the exposure to draw attention towards or away from central subject. If it had been me I would have lightened the white areas even further, or found a way to soften then. To my pedantic eye the blue cast doesn't look right. But that doesn't stop me from enjoying the photos 🙂 Thanks for taking the effort to do this. I learned something important about photographic technique in post and goat's cheese lemon and pea pasta. And there aren't many blogs that are that versatile 🙂


  6. I hear ya Bill. I normally avoid blue hues in my photos (especially food photos) like the plague. My original post actually didn't even have the blue hued photo in it but I added it in later to show some people that it can be done and how to do it.


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