Friday, April 22, 2011

Goat Cheese, Asparagus, and Sausage Pasta

I have many recipes starred in my Google Reader and/or saved on my computer. Sometimes, I find it overwhelming as I try to do my weekly menu plans and cycle through so many choices. We strive to cook at least one new dinner every week, and I always have plenty of choices from this ever expanding recipe collection. This is a recipe from Pink Parsley that I had saved almost a year ago. It is originally from the Everyday Food: Fresh Flavor Fast cookbook. With roasted asparagus and goat cheese, why did we wait so long? This was delicious!

You will need:
*2 bunches of asparagus (about 2 pounds), woody ends removed
*olive oil
*3 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into small pieces
*kosher salt
*ground black pepper
*4 links chicken sausage-I used Italian
*13 oz. of a small-shaped pasta-such as penne, shells, rotini (We like whole grain Barilla)
*4 oz. fresh goat cheese, softened
*2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese
*I also added a touch of garlic powder

1. Preheat oven to 450. Toss or spray asparagus with olive oil and place them on a baking sheet. Top with salt and pepper. Slice chicken sausage into 1-inch rounds and add to the baking sheet alongside the asparagus. Roast until tender, tossing the asparagus and turning the sausage, after about 10-15 minutes. Slice asparagus into 2-inch pieces once it is roasted.

2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt to the boiling water, and cook the pasta until al dente. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the cooking water; drain the pasta.

3. Whisk together the softened goat cheese, butter pieces, Parmesan cheese, and 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder; whisk until smooth.

4. Return the pasta to the pot, and toss with the goat-cheese mixture, asparagus, and chicken sausage. Add pasta water a few tablespoons at a time until a thin sauce coats the pasta. You're ready to serve!

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