During my last trip to the Farmer’s Market, I noticed a new vendor selling homemade goat cheese. She had all kinds of wonderful flavors from sun-dried tomato to rosemary, and even a red wine flavored log. I chose the roasted garlic flavor and when I got home and sampled it, I was extremely glad I did! Unfortunately, I am the only one who likes goat cheese in my family, and while I could eat it spread on some crusty bread all day, I needed to find some other ways to enjoy it!
Now that it is getting cooler, I don’t mind running my oven and roasting asparagus is my favorite way to prepare it. So when I saw this recipe, I knew it was perfect! This is an extremely delicious and very easy pasta dish to prepare. The roasted asparagus and garlic compliment the tangy goat cheese, and the pasta pulls the meal together. I enjoyed this as is, but it would also be delicious with some grilled chicken mixed in.
Roasted Asparagus, Garlic and Goat Cheese Pasta
- 2 bunches asparagus (2 pounds total), tough ends removed
- 6-7 cloves of garlic, leave paper skins intact
- 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt and ground pepper
- 12 ounces cavatappi, rotini or other short pasta
- 1 small log soft goat cheese (5 ounces)
- 2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
- 2 to 3 tablespoons snipped fresh chives, for garnish
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for pasta. Place asparagus on a large rimmed baking sheet, along with garlic cloves. Drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Roast until tender, tossing occasionally, 12 to 15 minutes. When cool enough to handle, cut asparagus into 2-inch lengths and remove garlic from paper skins.
While asparagus is roasting, generously salt boiling water. Add pasta, and cook until al dente, according to package instructions. Set aside 1 1/2 cups pasta water; drain pasta and return to pot.
Crumble goat cheese into a medium bowl, add 2 tablespoons butter and the roasted garlic cloves and mash with a fork to combine. Add 1/2 cup pasta water and whisk until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add goat cheese mixture and asparagus to pasta; toss to combine, adding more pasta water if necessary for sauce to coat pasta. Serve pasta garnished with chives and Parmesan.
Source: Adapted from Everyday Food, May 2007