Apr 11 2011
If you need a recipe for a fast dinner, look no further.
I intended to make this dish for dinner yesterday, but in my pre-severe weather ultra-preparedness, I decided to make it for lunch on the off chance I might not have power last night. Why did I go to such extremes? Well, my city was one in a list of predicted tornado hot spots for yesterday evening, and I can be of a superstitious nature, so I figured the more I did to prepare for severe weather, the more likely I wouldn’t actually get it.
Instead of a cooked meal for Sunday dinner, I planned on a turkey sandwich. Don’t laugh – it worked! All I had here was a lot of wind, a little thunder, a little rain.
Anyway, the meal intended for dinner ended up being my lunch. The roasted asparagus, my first asparagus of the spring, probably elevated the deliciousness of the meal in my eyes, but that’s the joy of seasonality. I’ve waited so long to have asparagus again, and it will now make an almost daily appearance in my cooking, I am sure.
Goat Cheese Pasta with Asparagus
adapted from Everyday Food: Fresh Flavor Fast
1 bunch asparagus (1 pound), tough ends removed
5 tablespoons butter, divided
6 ounces cavatappi (or other short, ridged pasta)
4 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
fresh chives or parsley, for garnish
salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 450*F. Spread asparagus out on a large rimmed baking sheet, dot with 2 tablespoons butter, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until tender, 10-15 minutes depending on thickness of spears. Remove from oven, cool slightly, then cut into 2 inch pieces.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil. Generously salt, then add pasta and cook until al dente (refer to package instructions for time). Reserve 3/4 cup pasta water, then drain cooked pasta; return to pot and add asparagus.
Combine goat cheese, remaining butter, and 1/2 cup pasta water in a bowl. Whisk until smooth, season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour over pasta and stir to combine. Garnish with snipped chives or chopped parsley, if desired.