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Pasta, Asparagus, Cherry Tomatoes, with a White Wine Sauce and Goat Cheese

I found the recipe for this, or at least the basis for this dish, on Ezra Pound Cake. Her version has chicken broth and only  has asparagus, but also includes Parmesan cheese. Since I was making this for dinner at my parents house and my mother already doesn’t like goat cheese, I decided to compromise and left out the Parmesan. As it was, I had to be sneaky and not tell her what was in the sauce until after she’d decided it wasn’t the Devil’s Spawn and had to be thrown away.

If you’re normal and do like both goat cheese and Parmesan do add both – I’m sure it tastes delicious. I’m going to have to make this again this week since I have left over…everything.

This is a pretty fast meal to put together, so it would be good on busy weekday night. The asparagus is quickly blanched in boiling water for three minutes and then set aside. While the pasta is cooking the sauce is made. The sauce itself is very good, creamy, and thick like a good alfredo sauce but with a tang  from goat cheese. Erza Pound Cake used chicken broth, but by the time I needed the chicken broth opened and pouring into the pan it was too late. So I looked around and grabbed an opened bottle of Riesling and used that for the liquid. Instead of lemon zest, I used bottled lemon juice for some brightness. Remember to salt and pepper this dish – fresh cracked pepper is always better and tastier – but the normal table pepper worked well here too.

I see you eye balling the different pastas in my bowl. My parents had a box of bow ties with exactly one serving left, so when I was thinking of just making this dish for me I poured it out and then I was too lazy to put it in a ziplock and put it back into the pantry. So I measured out 3 more servings of pasta and just cooked everything together. Variety is the spice of life, my friends.

Fun Fact For the Day: Bow ties take about the same amount of time to cook as spaghetti. Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.

Asparagus, Cherry Tomatoes with a White Wine Sauce and Pasta

Adapted from Erza Pound Cake

1 pound asparagus

1/3 – 2/3 pound cherry tomatoes cut in half (just keep cutting until you have a red:green ratio you like)

1/2 pound thin spaghetti (or if you want weirdness mix and match!)

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 tablespoons flour

1/2 a bottle of Riesling (or add as much as you think necessary…after pouring yourself a glass)

4 ounces goat cheese (In Northern California Bay Area – Trader Joe’s is cheapest)

1 tablespoon bottled lemon juice (or 1 tsp lemon zest)

Optional: 1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for pasta and a smaller pot of water to a boil to blanch asparagus

Trim the ends of the asparagus and then cut into small, 1 inch pieces. Blanch in boiling water for 3 minutes, remove from water. You can rinse the asparagus under cold water – I didn’t. While the asparagus is blanching halve the cherry tomatoes.

Add pasta to the boiling pasta water.

Use a medium sized sauce pan (convenient, using a sauce pan to make sauce) melt the butter and then whisk in the flour. Pour in the wine and whisk for about 2 minutes, or until  it thickens. Add in the lemon juice (or zest) and the goat cheese. Stir until the cheese has melted. Mix in the asparagus and cherry tomatoes.

If the sauce is too thick for your liking – mix in some of the pasta water until you get the consistency you like.

Serve over cooked pasta! YUM!

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