Lemony Goat Cheese Pasta with Asparagus & Turkey Bacon

When you’re attempting to clear out your kitchen, things can get pretty interesting (and scary all at the same time).  When I had a log of goat cheese, a bunch of asparagus and half a package of turkey bacon staring me in the face, at first it didn’t seem like a fit.  But then I saw that both Martha & Smitten Kitchen had a recipe with a lemony goat cheese sauce over pasta with asparagus.  So I modified it and did what I like attempt to do every day of my life – add bacon (its turkey, so its ok).

The lemoniness can be modified with more or less lemon juice and you can swap out regular bacon for turkey or I bet even pancetta or a nice crisp prosciutto would be a perfect complement too. It’s quick – it’s easy – so tasty – it’s a weeknight no brainer really.

I’ll dream of it for the next couple weeks as Dave and I eat boxed macaroni and cheese and pb & j, the “moving into a new house” meal plan of champions.

Lemony Goat Cheese Pasta with Asparagus & Turkey Bacon
Serves 4
Pasta covered in tangy lemon goat cheese sauce with asparagus and crispy turkey bacon
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Ingredients
  1. 12oz pasta of your choice (I made this once with whole wheat penne, but did this version with TJ's Lemon Pepper Papardelle - both excellent but I gotta say, the papardelle was dreamy - would totally recommend it if you have a TJ's near you!)
  2. 1/4 cup reserved pasta water
  3. 1 bunch of asparagus, sliced into 1" (or so) pieces
  4. 5-6 slices of turkey bacon (more or less depending on your preference and you could use just regular bacon or even pancetta or prosciutto)
  5. 5oz of goat cheese (goat cheese from a log will melt better than the crumbled stuff)
  6. 1/4 cup olive oil
  7. 1 medium - large garlic clove, minced
  8. 1/2 tablespoon lemon zest
  9. Juice of 1/2 small lemon (or more - you can adjust to taste)
  10. salt & pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, cook pasta according to the instructions on the package (different styles will have different cook times). With 3 minutes left for the pasta to cook, add the asparagus pieces. Drain pasta & asparagus, reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Set aside.
  2. In a medium sauce pan, cook your turkey bacon over medium heat until cooked through. I like to overcook it a bit, because I like it really crunchy. But that is up to you. Drain on paper towels and set turkey bacon slices aside. Once they've cooled, crumble them into small pieces.
  3. In the same skillet, heat your olive oil and garlic over medium heat and then stir in the goat cheese, lemon zest and lemon juice. Stir over low heat until sauce forms. I actually used a small whisk for this to avoid lumps. Add the reserved pasta water a little bit at a time - I like a thicker sauce, so I only added a very small amount, but you can certainly add more to thin it out.
  4. Once the sauce is to your liking, fold the cooked pasta and asparagus into the skillet with the sauce. Sprinkle with crumbled turkey bacon and serve hot.
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
And They Cooked Happily Ever After http://www.andtheycookedhappilyeverafter.com/

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