I have been in the mood for a delicious and fresh, yet creamy pasta dish lately. I came across this recipe by Bon Appetit and Smitten Kitchen and had to try it. I've adapted it slightly to my own tastes.
This meal combines the rich, creamy flavor of goat cheese with fresh lemon and asparagus. The base of the meal is whole-wheat pasta. The result is a light and healthy-tasting meal. And it's not just healthy, but really delicious and easy to make. Enjoy each bite.
1 lb. Whole-Wheat Spiral Pasta (Fusilli or Rotini)
1 lb. Asparagus, Cooked and Cut into 1 - 1 1/2" inch pieces
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1 Tbsp. Lemon Zest
2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
2 tsp. Dried Tarragon or 2 Tbsp. Chopped Fresh Tarragon (could substitute Marjoram or Basil)
1 5-6 oz Soft Goat Cheese Log (don't use crumbled--it won't melt correctly)
Sea Salt and Pepper, as desired (I used 1/2 tsp. each).
Parmesan Cheese, to Garnish (optional)
1. Cook pasta according to package directions (Note: You can cook the asparagus with the pasta, for the last 3-4 minutes of the pasta cooking time, if you are using fresh asparagus. I used frozen asparagus, so cooked it separately from the pasta).. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup of the water.
2. In a large bowl, combine cooked pasta, cooked asparagus, 1/2 cup of reserved water, olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, and tarragon. Stir in the goat cheese, breaking it into small pieces as you add it in. Stir well to combine. Add more of the reserved water, if you need more moisture. Season with sea salt and pepper, if desired.
Serve immediately. Top with fresh sprigs of tarragon or Parmesan cheese.