Roasted Asparagus and Tomato Penne with Goat Cheese
Original Recipe found in Cooking Light, May 2011 Magazine
2 cups penne pasta
12 asparagus spears
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
4 T extra virgin olive oil, divided
salt and pepper
1 T minced shallot
2 T lemon juice
1 T Dijon mustard
1 t dried herbes de Provence
1 1/2 t honey
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
2 cups arugula
1/2 c crumbled goat cheese
Preheat oven to 400. Place asparagus and tomatoes on a cookie sheet. Drizzle with 1 T olive oil and season with 1/4 t each of salt and pepper. Toss until well coated. Roast for 6 minutes. Remove asparagus from cookie sheet and return tomatoes for another 4 minutes. Set aside and let asparagus and tomatoes cool for 10 minutes. When asparagus is cool enough to handle, slice into inch long pieces. Place in a large serving bowl.
In the meantime, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and place in the serving bowl along with the tomatoes, asparagus, arugula, and olives.
Combine minced shallots, lemon juice, mustard, and herbs along with a pinch of salt and 1/4 t pepper in a small bowl. While whisking continuously, stream in 3 T olive oil. Dress the pasta, toss and top with crumbled goat cheese. You can serve this dish immediately while still warm or refrigerate for 2 hours and serve cold. We chose the warm salad.
Along with the fact that this dish was super quick to make (total time about 30 minutes) it was surprisingly hearty and delicious. If you aren't a fan of goat cheese (or don't want to spend that much on cheese), feta would make a great substitute. I found that the goat cheese melted well into the pasta while it was still warm, and preferred that creaminess to chucks of the cheese. This dish would also be good with spinach if you can't find the arugula. I also believe the tomatoes roasted too long, they completely disintegrated into the sauce. Next time, I would take them out with the asparagus after 6 minutes.
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