Creamy Goat Cheese Pasta with Roasted Asparagus

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Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 bunches asparagus (2 pounds total) tough ends removed
  • 4 tablespoons butter cut into small pieces
  • 12 ounces cavatappi or other short pasta
  • 1 small log soft goat cheese (5 ounces) crumbled
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons snipped fresh chives for garnish

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for pasta. Place asparagus on a large rimmed baking sheet; dot with 1 tablespoon butter, and season with salt and pepper. Roast until tender, tossing occasionally, 10 to 15 minutes; cut into 2-inch lengths.
  2. While asparagus is roasting, generously salt boiling water. Add pasta, and cook until al dente, according to package instructions. Set aside 1 1/2 cups pasta water; drain pasta and return to pot.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine goat cheese, remaining 3 tablespoons butter, and 1/2 cup pasta water. Season with salt and pepper, and whisk until smooth. Add goat-cheese mixture and asparagus to pasta; toss to combine, adding more pasta water if necessary for sauce to coat pasta. Serve pasta garnished with chives.
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