By some magic stroke of luck, the asparagus at the store this week is HUGE and gorgeous and exceptionally fabulous. Instead of forcing my hubby to eat more balsamic butter pasta (I am obsessed with the dish. But I am pretty sure hubby is 5 seconds from kicking me out of the kitchen permanently the if I make it one more time…), I decided to force him to endure another one of my obsessions with this perfectly ripe asparagus…. GOAT CHEESE.
He really did bring it on himself though. He was the one who aided my love for goat cheese by fixing me a delicious surprise lunch of crostini with goat cheese and fresh from the garden tomato and basil. I figured I could float on the coattails of that and force him to love goat cheese even more when paired with pasta and asparagus.
Well not as much as I would like of course. He is at a steady plateau of love for goat cheese and my obsession continues to rise to insane proportions of ridiculousness. All I can say is I am ever-so grateful to have the opportunity to purchase two 10 oz logs of goat cheese for only $9. All hail the almighty Costco….
Now I am going to hunker down for a weekend of baking for a certain special someone’s birthday… You can look forward to some pretty sweet treats in the next week. 🙂
Asparagus, Goat Cheese and Lemon Pasta (from Smitten Kitchen)
1 pound spiral-shaped pasta
1 pound slender asparagus spears, trimmed, cut into 1- to 1 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon plus more for garnish
1 5- to 5 1/2-ounce log soft fresh goat cheese (the pre-crumbled stuff will not melt as well)
Fresh lemon juice to taste (optional)
Cook your pasta in a large pot of well-salted water until it is almost tender, or about three minutes shy of what the package suggests. Add asparagus and cook until firm-tender, another two to three minutes. Drain both pasta and asparagus together, reserving one cup of pasta water.
Meanwhile, combine olive oil, lemon peel, tarragon and cheese in a large bowl, breaking up the goat cheese as you put it in. Add hot pasta and asparagus to bowl, along with a couple slashes of the pasta water. Toss until smoothly combined, adding more pasta water if needed. Season generously with salt and pepper, and lemon juice if you feel it needs a little extra kick.