The wonderful vegetable known as asparagus is baaaaack!
Like many of you, I hoard a lot of magazines and cookbooks. What? I can’t help it! The fact that I have all these food magazines and cookbooks lying around the house, it’s surprising to me that every night I wonder “what am I going to make for dinner?” I’ll admit, though, most of the ones I’ve bookmarked are more involved with ingredients than I’d prefer to use on a weeknight. I’m all about quick and easy after work. I don’t have the time to whip up something fancy or go to the store to grab additional ingredients.
One trend I’ve noticed within food bloggers and food magazines is the use of goat cheese. I was determined to find an easy dish with goat cheese in it because after seeing various friends’ posts with goat cheese, I vowed I’d get a log of it myself and find something to make with it. I recently subscribed to Bon Appetit on my iPad and they included a pasta recipe book and within it was this goat cheese, lemon, & asparagus pasta. Easy! I had all the ingredients and it took no time to whip up after work. I threw in chicken for some protein but you can omit it if you aren’t a fan.
So now the question is: where have I been? Did I dig myself a hole & climb into it? I’ve never used goat cheese in cooking until this dish. And it was SO good. I love the consistency of goat cheese and how it coats everything to make it so creamy good. It’s so smooth and the lemon gives you that refreshing bite and tang. This is definitely a spring time dish to make one evening! It makes a lot so if you’re having dinner guests over and don’t want to stress about a difficult dish to make, make this one. It’ll seem as if you’re some kind of pasta pro ;)
Goat Cheese, Lemon, and Asparagus Pasta
Yield: 5-6 servings | Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cook Time: 15-20 minutes
1 pound of penne pasta
1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed, and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp. finely grated lemon peel
5 oz. log of soft fresh goat cheese (don’t buy the pre-crumbled one)
Salt and pepper, to taste
- In a large pot, season water with salt and bring to a boil. Cook your pasta until al dente, about 7 minutes, then add in the asparagus and cook for 3 minutes longer.
- Meanwhile, combine oil and oil in a large bowl and crumble the goat cheese in.
- Drain the pasta and asparagus, while reserving 2 cups of pasta water. Add the hot pasta & asparagus to the cheese mixture. Add about 1/4 cup of the pasta water to the mixture as well. Toss to coat, adding more reserved liquid if it’s too creamy or dry, by adding the water in 1/4 cup increments. I ended up adding almost 1 1/2 cups of the reserved liquid.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Adapted from Bon Appetit, June 2009