- 1 pound rotini (spiral-shaped pasta)
- 1 pound slender asparagus spears, cut into 1- to 1 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tblsp finely grated lemon peel
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tsp chopped fresh basil plus sprigs for garnish
- 5 1/2 oz log soft fresh goat cheese
I’m switching gears today and turning away from the sweet treats. (Not that we don’t all enjoy them.) Today I’m bringing you a rich pasta dish flavored with lemon, basil and goat cheese. Have you tried goat cheese? Are you a fan of goat cheese? It truly is a unique flavor but I think the rich creaminess of it is enough to fall for. Goat cheese can be found in many different flavors and varieties but for today we are using plain and be sure to buy one that is higher quality. The nice thing about this pasta is that the lemon and basil add a lightness to the pungent cheese so it’s great for goat cheese beginners!
Start by cooking your pasta according to the package instructions. I prefer my pasta slightly al dente so I like to keep a close eye on it. When approximately 3 minutes remain on the cooking time, add in the asparagus.
In a medium bowl combine the lemon juice, olive oil and chopped basil. Crumble the goat cheese into the bowl.
Drain the asparagus and pasta and reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Add the pasta, asparagus and 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid into the bowl with the lemon juice and goat cheese. Toss the pasta to coat with the mixture, adding more liquid as needed. Season the pasta to taste with coarsly ground pepper and salt. Transfer the pasta to a shallow serving dish and garnish with additional fresh basil, lemon zest and serve. I would also suggest pairing this with a freshly grilled chicken breast for a complete meal. Asparagus. Goat Cheese. Basil. All delicious things.