A surefire way to get dinner on the table lickety-split is to prepare pasta. Forgo grabbing a jar of premade marinara sauce from the pantry and whip up a light and fresh spring pasta entrée instead. Pasta with Goat Cheese, Prosciutto, Asparagus and Peas pairs the first vegetables of spring with a light sauce flecked with crispy prosciutto.
Cooking pasta is simple. A few foolproof tips ensure perfect pasta every time.
- Vigorously boil a large pot of water. Plenty of water (about 4 to 5 quarts for a pound of pasta) help pasta cook perfectly.
- Stir the pasta during the first minute or two. This will help prevent the pasta from sticking together. Refrain from adding oil. It will make for slippery pasta that does not absorb the sauce.
- Salt big. Generously season the water with 1 to 2 tablespoons of salt.
- Drain and sauce. After draining pasta do not rinse it. Quickly toss the hot pasta with sauce. It will absorb more sauce and flavor than pasta that was rinsed with water.
Some double duty cooking helps speed along the preparation of Pasta with Goat Cheese, Prosciutto, Asparagus and Peas. During the last few minutes of cooking the pasta, the asparagus is added and cooked to a tender crisp vibrant green. Save some of the pasta cooking water to add to the sauce. The starchy water helps bind the pasta and sauce together.
Sautéing the shallots, prosciutto, and garlic together allows the fat from the thinly sliced Italian meat to melt and enhance the flavor of the sauce. A healthy glug of white wine deglazes the pan and loosens the flavorful brown bits in the sauté pan.
The creamy and tangy goat cheese infused with herbs melts beautifully into a velvety smooth sauce. A burst of freshness is added to the dish from the sweet peas and freshly chopped parsley.
As with many pasta dishes, Pasta with Goat Cheese, Prosciutto, Asparagus and Peas pairs wonderfully with a bakery fresh loaf of bread and a glass of white wine.Print
- 1 pound pasta such as fettuccine or fusilli
- ½ pound asparagus cut in 2 – inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large shallot (thinly sliced)
- 4 ounces prosciutto (diced)
- 4 garlic cloves (minced)
- ½ cup white wine
- 1 4 to 5 ounce log herb goat cheese
- 1 ½ cups peas
- ½ cup fresh parsley (finely chopped)
- Salt and pepper
- Cook pasta in a large pot of generously salted boiling water for 7 minutes. Add the asparagus and continue cooking until the asparagus is tender, about 2 minutes longer. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water. Drain the pasta and asparagus.
- Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan over medium high heat, add the olive oil, shallot, prosciutto, and garlic. Sauté the ingredients for 6 to 8 minutes. The shallots will be softened and the prosciutto is slightly crispy on the edges. Add the wine and scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the goat cheese and stir until it is melted. Stir in about ½ cup of the pasta water and the peas and heat through.
- Place the pasta and asparagus in a large bowl. Pour the goat cheese sauce over the pasta and toss to coat. Stir in the parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Recipe by Amy Casey
© amycaseycooks ~ 2015
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 18 minutes
- Category: entree