Monday, June 24, 2013

Asparagus, Goat Cheese and Lemon Pasta

I love pasta. SP loves pasta. Baby Girl loves pasta. That said, we eat pasta at least once a week in this house. I'm always on the lookout for new recipes and after seeing various versions of this Asparagus, Goat Cheese and Lemon Pasta I decided to go to the source and see what we were missing.


This came together so quickly Baby Girl and I were scrambling the finish mixing the cheese and seasonings before the pasta and asparagus finished cooking. It took some tweaking to get the seasonings right - this needed a generous amount of salt and pepper to bring out all the flavors, plus a healthy dose of lemon juice. The pasta water really helped thin out the sauce and make it extra creamy. I ended up adding a full 8-oz log of goat cheese because, well, I'd already opened the package. I also added a fried egg to my lunch the next day - heavenly. So delicious and creamy, with a nice bite from the goat cheese and zing of the lemon juice. It tickles me that Baby Girl enjoys things like goat cheese - she was helping me crumble the cheese and then licked her fingers to get every last bit off.


A note about the above photo - Baby Girl has seen me take pictures of my food since I started cooking and blogging again after she was born. During the months when I'm able to take advantage of natural light I go out on the porch to take my photos. The night we made this, Baby Girl insisted on bringing her own bowl outside so I could photograph her portion. My heart melted.

What a perfect, easy weeknight meal. I've seen people sub spinach for the asparagus but I'm a sucker for those spears.

Asparagus, Goat Cheese and Lemon Pasta
As seen on Smitten Kitchen, adapted from Bon Appetit

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 zest
2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon, thyme or basil) plus more for garnish
1 8-ounce log soft fresh goat cheese (the pre-crumbled stuff will not melt as well)
Salt and pepper
Fresh lemon juice to taste

Cook the pasta in a large pot of well-salted water. Three minutes before the pasta is done (according to the package directions) add the asparagus and cook until firm-tender. Drain both pasta and asparagus together, reserving one cup of pasta water.

Meanwhile, combine the olive oil, lemon zest, thyme (or herb of choice) and goat cheese in a large bowl, breaking up the goat cheese as you put it in. Add the hot pasta and asparagus to the bowl, along with some of the pasta water. Toss until combined, adding more pasta water if needed. Taste and season generously with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Keep adjusting the seasonings, if needed. Serve hot or room temperature.
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  1. I love that she wanted her portion in the picture. I'm also so envious of her eating. Was she always like that? Landon is 18 months and is a terror when it comes to eating. He DOES have some food issues (some sensory food issues and has no appetite, we see specialists, etc.) But I am hoping he one day eats like your little one!! :)

    1. She's always been a relatively good eater. At Landon's age she had to try the things we were eating and most of the time they were spit right back out unless they were some of her favorites. Around age 2 she started helping me in the kitchen and I'd always ask her to at least try something new, making sure she knew she didn't have to eat it if she didn't like it. I must have given her tomatoes 20 times before she finally decided she liked them (within the last few months so well after age 3). Really, within the last 3 months things have been crazy. She was never really a picky eater but lately she'll eat just about anything. There are still things I offer that she turns her nose up to or gets weird about even trying, but I still have her try it with the hope that someday she'll want it.

      There are so many factors that influence eating but my method has always been to offer her things, making sure she knows she doesn't have to eat it if she doesn't like it but still exposing her to new things with the hope that one day she will like it. I know Landon has some food issues so that might not work with him but I hope he's a great eater someday. I know that would make you very happy!

  2. This sounds like a fantastic combo of ingredients! I have yet to introduce Joel to goat cheese but I sure hope he loves it as much as Baby Girl does! :)

  3. I just love goat cheese myself, it's the best.

  4. I couldn't even wait to make this, so we had it for dinner tonight. It was so delicious. I think I'm going to increase the amount of asparagus next time. The rest of the evening I had a thought in the back of my mind that this would probably make a lovely cold salad to bring along for a picnic. And now I can tell you it would indeed. Hubby and I planned to have some ice cream for a late snack, but after I dished up his bowl, I pulled the leftover pasta out of the fridge for me. It was lovely. (But now I have no leftovers for tomorrow's lunch as I had planned!)


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