I really love pasta. As a bike rider, you almost have to – its everywhere. If there was an official meal of cycling it would involve pasta. And unless you are in Italy or at home that pasta will probably overcooked, watery, and very likely a burnt taste to it.
Since it feels that I am constantly returning to the grocery store for yet another box of pasta because the three boxes I thought were in the cabinet had inexplicably disappeared, I am always on the lookout for new pasta recipes that brighten the boring and please the tastebuds that are tired of chicken pesto and red meat sauce.
I’m not sure where I first stumbled on the goat cheese and asparagus recipe but it happened a few months ago during a goat cheese love affair where chevre (the cultured term) was put in everything and disappeared as quickly as the boxes of pasta. I swear there was full package in the fridge a few hours ago. For those who haven’t tried goat cheese, it tastes like a tangy cream cheese. Its creamier than feta but can still be crumbled in a similar manner if you are willing to risk getting your fingers dirty. Which in this case is not a bad thing. I digress. The first time I saw the recipe all I saw was goat cheese and decided to try it.
The result was incredible. Instant favorite. Write it down and don’t forget it. Make it every night for a week kind of good. The meal is quite simple actually. Start by making pasta. While the pasta is cooking, take 5 oz of chevre and place it, some olive oil, and basil in a large bowl. When the pasta has about 3 minutes left, add your chopped asparagus spears. Then drain the pasta and asparagus in a large colander and immediately dump everything into your large bowl. The heat from the pasta will start to melt the goat cheese creating a creamy, tangy sauce. Mix. Mix. Mix it up!
That is the basic version. Also vegetarian. I usually sauté chicken, mushrooms, and onions in a frying pan and add it to the large bowl with the pasta, asparagus, and chevre. Fill that protein quota, add more flavor, and dirty up some more dishes. Thats called a win win don’t care.
Goat Cheese Pasta (With Chicken and Asparagus)
- 1 box of Pasta – I like cavatappi or penne rigate
- 1 lb of slender asparagus spears, trimmed, cut into 1 in pieces – slender spears cook faster
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 teaspoons fresh chopped basil – CHEAT ALERT just use Italian seasoning
- 5 oz log soft fresh goat cheese – the crumbled kind doesn’t melt well
- 2 bonless chicken breasts cut into cubes
- 1/2 large onion
- 1 cup mushrooms
- dash of salt
- tablespoon of coconut oil to sauté
Heat a skillet on medium heat. Add coconut oil and the cubed chicken. After a few minutes, add the mushrooms and onions. Keep the food moving in the pan to avoid any burning. When the chicken is cooked and onions translucent, take it off the heat and set aside.
Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water until almost tender, about 7 minutes. Add the asparagus spears to the pot for the final 3 minutes or until the pasta is tender but firm.
Meanwhile, combine olive oil, salt, basil, and the goat cheese in a large bowl.
Drain pasta and asparagus. Add the hot pasta, asparagus and the chicken, mushrooms, onions on top of that. Toss to coat. If dry, you can reserve some of the pasta water and add it to the bowl but I thought it made the sauce too soupy. Season the pasta with salt and pepper to taste and voila!
Let me know how it goes!