As you know (or if you don’t know, you should know- and now you do), I am a very big fan of cheese. My dad grew up in Wisconsin and snacks on assorted cheeses almost every when he comes home from work- despite my mom pleading him to put it away because dinner was almost ready. Growing up, I took on the habit of frequent cheese snacking. When I went to college, it seemed my dad missed my company during cheese snacking sessions. He would send me texts updating me on his cheese consumption (“Meg, I just ate 4 slices of sharp cheddar and a chunk of the apricot almond brie from the farmer’s market.”).
Eventually, that phase ended, and my dad readjusted to eating cheese on his own. It’s a good thing, too. Those cheese updates couldn’ve gotten exhausting. And, quite frankly, they made me jealous, because I missed the quality cheese that we had at home. At one point, I told my friend about my dad’s text updates, and she found it hilarious. Subsequently, she began to send me updates of her own cheese intake. So, for a couple days there, half of my texts seemed to be about the kinds/quantities of cheese that people in my life were eating. (Yes, sometimes my parents account for half of my texts. I am a needy person. Don’t judge me.)
Anywayyyyy, I am known among my friends as a cheese lover. And most of my friends are also cheese enthusiasts. Yes, there is a correlation. So, last week when my fellow cheese enthusiast/friend Katherine and I went to go check out the new Trader Joe’s in town, she was quick to point out the nice price of the goat cheese. Sold. Grabbed a log and put it in my basket.
When I came across this post (on Two Peas and Their Pod), I knew that my newly purchased goat cheese’s destiny had been determined. And I decided the tart lemon flavor would go so well with the sweetness of an old childhood favorite- balsamic glaze asparagus. Can you say “yummy yum yummm”?
Of note: this also tastes quite good cold!
Here we go:
makes 3 servings
4 oz. pasta
around 15 asparagus stalks
1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
1-2 Tbsp. balsamic glaze
1/4 freshly grated pecorino romano (or parmesan or whateva!)
3 oz. goat cheese
1/2 lemon, use the zest and juice!
optional: red pepper flakes, oregano, basil
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta. (Note: reserve about 2 Tbsp. of pasta water before you drain the pasta.)
While the water is boiling, trim the stems of the asparagus and place in a baking dish.
Drizzle with about 2 Tbsp. olive oil and toss to coat. Then, drizzle with about 1-2 Tbsp. balsamic glaze and sprinkle with the shredded pecorino.
Then put in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, depending on your desired asparagus texture.
Once the pasta is cooked, mix in the reserved pasta water, goat cheese, lemon juice, and lemon zest.
I also sprinkled in a dash of red pepper flakes, oregano, and basil for a little extra pizzaz.