Talk about a fresh, light summer pasta that's ready in a flash! Jon and I both loved this. We dove into our bowls so fast that I only had leftovers to take a picture of!
Asparagus, Goat Cheese and Lemon Pasta
compliments of smitten kitchen
1 pound spiral-shaped pasta (I had shells on hand so we used those and they worked just fine)
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 (didn't have this; didn't use it)
1 5- to 5 1/2-ounce log soft fresh goat cheese (the pre-crumbled stuff will not melt as well) (we used about 4 1/2-ounces)
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 genersously with salt and pepper, and lemon juice if you feel it needs a little extra kick.