Sunday, May 23, 2010
Whole Wheat Penne with Asparagus & Goat Cheese
My Aunt Robin lives on a tiny island off the coast of South Carolina that has a year-round population of just 350 people, and approximately zero grocery stores. She has to take a 45 minute long ferry ride to the mainland to do her grocery shopping. Because she can't simply run out to the store to pick up a few ingredients for dinner, my aunt has become a pro at putting together stellar meals by using whatever she has on hand. This pasta dish, one of her delicious creations, utilizes several kitchen staple ingredients as well as delicious fresh spring asparagus.
Aunt Robin's Whole Wheat Penne with Asparagus & Goat Cheese
1/2 lb whole wheat penne
1 big bunch asparagus (about 1 lb), course ends removed
5 oz soft goat cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
zest from 1 lemon, grated
juice from 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup fresh basil, shredded
Whisk together goat cheese, olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, pepper and half of basil in a large bowl. Cook penne in salted boiling water. Slice asparagus into 1" pieces and add to the pot with pasta during the last minute of cooking. Drain pasta and asparagus, reserving 1 cup of the starchy pasta cooking liquid. Toss pasta and asparagus in the bowl with goat cheese mixture, adding some of the reserved pasta liquid if dry. Plate and top with remaining basil.