Asparagus and Goat Cheese Pasta Needs No Introduction…

…or photographs?  Unfortunately, you’re going to have to bear with me and my descriptive prose to get a sense of this dish, as I neglected to take photos.  Which is particularly upsetting as this is my first ever Smitten Kitchen poached post, and I was at least going to ATTEMPT to live up to the artistic prowess of the Finalist for Best Food Photography  in Saveur’s 1st Annual Best Food Blog Awards.  Alas, no camera of my own (*cough* my birthday is in three weeks *cough*), a dead battery on the roomie’s camera, and a lack of back-up plan means you’re just getting this big block of text.  Unless, of course, I can convince Marko to contribute one of her Microsoft Paint renderings. On second thought, maybe we’ll just stick to words for now.

So, Smitten Kitchen, beloved blog of foodies everywhere, best known for its gorgeous photography; healthful-yet-indulgent, one stick of butter shy of Paula Deen recipes; witty prose; and, for the last several months, adorable pics of the author’s baby.  My first attempt at an SK dish was part of the great Butternut Saga when Elizabeth and I made a relatively successful version of the Butternut Sqaush and Caramelized Onion Galette. Come to think of it, that may have been the first time I roasted the b-nut almost correctly.  And it was really delicious.  I should probably make it again.  Anyway, since the launch of Headline Foods I have yet to dip pack into the SK pool.  However, this weekend I was flipping through my Silver Palate Cookbook and came across an asparagus recipe I really wanted to try.  The asparagus at the Key was bizarrely inexpensive, so I picked up twice what I needed for the three of us.  Naturally, that led to an internet perusal of delicious asparagus recipes, and I found this one.

The appealing photos (I’m telling you, they don’t just nominate ANYONE for these awards) sold me before I even read the post, and by the time I reached the absurdly simple ingredient list and recipe I knew this would be a perfect post-work work-out dish.  I neglected to purchase the tarragon called for in the original recipe, but I think it turned out okay anyway.  I started off by cooking about a half pound of whole wheat pasta in well salted waterFour minutes shy of al dente, I added in an equal amount of asparaguschopped down into about one inch pieces.  Meanwhile, I stirred together 2 oz of goat cheese, a healthy splash of olive oil, and grated lemon peel. When the pasta and asparagus was done, I strained it out and added to the bowl with cheese mixture, reserving some of the pasta water. I tossed it all together, adding a bit of the pasta water and a splash of lemon juice to help it all come together.  A healthy dash of salt and pepper later, dinner was ready.

I loved the juxtaposition of the creamy goat cheese and crisp asparagus, and the tang from the cheese and the lemon gave the whole thing a light, springy flavor.  Definitely a repeat dish.

And now, apropos of nothing, I present the baby of the family, AsparaGUS.

His scarf is green, like the veggies

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4 comments

  1. Allison · · Reply

    I’m surprised the recipe didn’t demand an ice bath for the asparagus afterwards. Whenever I see an ice bath involved in a recipe, I throw my hands up in exasperation. As if adding ice to water in a small bowl that will barely need to be washed after is such a huge burden. So I’m glad to see it isn’t always necessary AND the dish was still superb. If I have time today you know I’ll Paint it up.

  2. giuseppe · · Reply

    This sounds like a great dish..veggies that were conveniently excluded from a photo. haha, I kid, but I bet it would have been a good lookin’ pasta. your additions to the goat cheese and later to the pasta make it sound like the goat cheese would mix more evenly across the pasta…I always get big, delectable landmines of goat cheese when I use it in something- not entirely objectionable, but it would be nice to have a more even taste- sounds like a good strategy.

  3. scrambled eggs · · Reply

    is the b-nut related to the p-nut?

  4. […] a brief foray into asparagus season, it’s time for the second installment of…COUNTDOWN TO ITALY.  Let us return to the […]

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