We has a really amazing weekend, though it went by entirely too fast! My parents got here Friday night and in addition to fun things like going out to eat, seeing Rock of Ages at Shea’s Theater and watching the Masters (though not nearly enough as my dad would’ve liked!) – my mom helped me work through a creative block I had going on with a big project and my dad helped me designed and build an insanely cool table , which you can see HERE!! All-in-all it was the perfect weekend and I was dreading getting back into the swing of things work-wise so soon come this morning but this weather has pleasantly surprised me. It’s warm, the sun is shining and they have put out the pins and mowed the golf course which for me official marks that spring has started which brings me to the pappardelle dish! My husband and I started using this technique a few years ago, using a couple ounce of goat cheese and the cooking water from the pasta to make a “cheese sauce” that is WAY healthier than almost any other cheese sauce. You can use it with any pasta and then add in any other ingredients you like, in this case springtime flavors like asparagus, lemon and ham! It’s bright, super flavorful and perfect for this time of year. We made our own pappardelle (find out how HERE) but swap it out for store bought pasta and you could be eating this for dinner tonight!
As I mentioned, we made our own pappardelle (find the how-to HERE) and we used a whole batch of the pasta… if you’re using store bought, use a whole box of any type pasta. Cook it al-dente according to the box and drain it but reserve some of the cooking water! While that’s happening, heat 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil in a large high sided skillet and sauté about 1 cup fresh asparagus that’s been cut into 1-inch pieces (1), season with salt and pepper. In a separate sauté pan, crisp up piece of ham (we just used a piece of lunch meat but you could use any kind of ham or even use prosciutto!) and set aside (2). Once your asparagus is sautéed (just a couple of minutes), add the cooked pasta right into that skillet (3). Turn off the heat and add 2-3 ounces softened goat cheese and 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water (4). Start stirring to melt the cheese and keep adding the pasta water until the “sauce” loosens up enough to coat all the pasta (5). Stir in 1 tbsp freshly grated lemon zest, the juice of one lemon and a pinch of red pepper flakes then toss everything together. Transfer to serving bowls or platter and crumble the crisped piece of ham over the top. Serve immediately, as the cheese will start to solidify as it cools.
One batch homemade pappardelle (get recipe HERE) or one box any type pasta
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup fresh asparagus (chopped into 1″ pieces)
salt and pepper
1 piece ham or prosciutto
2-3 ounces softened goat cheese
1 lemon (juice from whole lemon and 1 tbsp worth of zest)
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Cook pasta al-dente according to the box (or about 3 minutes for fresh pasta) and drain it but reserve some of the cooking water! While that’s happening, heat olive oil in a large high sided skillet and sauté about the asparagus for a couple of minutes, season with salt and pepper. In a separate sauté pan, crisp up the ham or prosciutto and set aside. Once your asparagus is sautéed, add the cooked pasta right into that skillet, turn off the heat and add the goat cheese and 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water. Start stirring to melt the cheese and keep adding the pasta water until the “sauce” loosens up enough to coat all the pasta. Stir in lemon juice, lemon zest and red pepper flakes hen toss everything together. Transfer to serving bowls or platter and crumble the crisped piece of ham over the top. Serve immediately, as the cheese will start to solidify as it cools.