Asparagus season has got to be one of my favorite times of the year. While I like almost every vegetable (hold the cauliflower, please), asparagus is one I really love and try to use as frequently as possible when it comes into season. Which means, if I’m not using it in a dish, it’s inevitably going to be roasted or grilled and stuck on the side of…everything.
This was the first dish I made with asparagus this year (although it took me nearly a month to post it, and I’ve since eaten my weight in asparagus twice over) and it did not disappoint. But, really, considering it also has two of my other favorite ingredients—goat cheese and lemon—how could it?
The original recipe calls for tarragon but I’ve never been a big fan. I decided to add some basil, which complemented the rest of the flavors in the dish beautifully. This meal is done in roughly the amount of time it takes to cook the pasta, so it’s great for an easy weeknight meal.
Pasta with Goat Cheese, Lemon, and Asparagus
1 lb. short pasta
1 lb. asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 1″ pieces
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. finely grated lemon zest
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 (6 oz.) log of goat cheese
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
Cook your pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until it is nearly tender, or about 4 minutes shy of what the package suggests. Add asparagus and cook until firm-tender, another 2-3 minutes. Drain both pasta and asparagus together, reserving one cup of pasta water.
Meanwhile, combine olive oil, lemon peel, and lemon juice in a large bowl. Add the goat cheese, breaking it up as you combine. Add hot pasta and asparagus to bowl. Slowly add some of the pasta water (you probably won’t need it all, I didn’t even use half) until a sauce is formed and everything is combined. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste, and then stir in the basil.
Meatless Monday: Pasta with Goat Cheese, Lemon and Asparagus