Sunday, May 30, 2010
When looking for inspiration on how to prepare our CSA vegetables, I poured through cookbooks, my latest food magazines, and searched some of my favorite food sites. One of my go-to sites is foodandwine.com. They have a great advanced search that has steered me in the right direction many times. My daughter Ashley was helping with the search and came across this recipe on foodandwine.com. She searched for orecchiette, asparagus, and goat cheese since we had all of those ingredients on hand. I went a little crazy and bought a bunch of DeCecco orecchiette because my local grocery store hasn't carried it in a long time and suddenly it was back, and on sale. I also bought goat cheese at Costco - so you know that we had plenty. Oh, and of course we had the gorgeous, fresh asparagus from my CSA box. The bonus is this recipe also uses chives which were also in my CSA box.
With delicious fresh produce and recipes like this one, I could easily, and I mean easily, become vegetarian. My family loved this pasta! Easy, healthy, and delicious - just perfect! I later noticed that this recipe is on the list of Food & Wines users' 30 favorite recipes list. This would be perfect for a "Meatless Monday". The only changes I made were to up the amount of goat cheese (I know- very bad - but it was so good!) and I also added fresh chive flowers.
I served the pasta with herbed butter and radish crostinis. I had come across an Ina Garten recipe for herbed butter served with whole radishes and toasted French bread. Stacey, of Stacey Snacks (another go-to site), suggested sliced radishes served on bread with a "swipe of butter". Stacey is an expert, so I knew that butter, bread, and radishes were the way to go! I decided to add some herbs (dill, scallions, and parsley) to my butter, and serve it on crostini with sliced radishes. Just delicious!
Creamy Goat Cheese and Asparagus Orecchiette
Recipe by Scott Conant
Food & Wine Magazine
3/4 pound orecchiette
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 medium red onion, finely diced
3/4 pound medium asparagus spears, cut into 1/2-inch lengths
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh goat cheese (I used 4 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon snipped chives
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
1.In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the orecchiette until just al dente. Drain the orecchiette, reserving 2/3 cup of the cooking water.
2.Meanwhile, in a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion and cook over moderately low heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the asparagus and crushed red pepper and cook over moderate heat until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.
3.Add the orecchiette and the reserved cooking water to the skillet along with the lemon juice and zest; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the orecchiette is al dente and the asparagus is just tender, about 2 minutes. Add the goat cheese and chives and stir until melted. Transfer the pasta to bowls and serve with Parmesan cheese.