Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Asparagus, Goat Cheese and Smoked Salmon Pasta

It is officially asparagus season, one of my favorite times of the year. We're smack in the middle of a few weeks of perfect, flavorful asparagus filling farmers' market stands.

I buy certain fruits and veggies out of season, but not asparagus. It's just so much better when it's fresh. 

I've been buying it up and eating it in every dish possible.

I get a lot of my asparagus inspiration from Smitten Kitchen. It doesn't hurt that she cooks only a few miles away, from many of the same farmers' markets I do, so she tends to post recipes when the ingredients are available to me.

This has quickly become one of my staple weeknight dinners. The ingredient list is short, and the lemon zest makes the pasta pop. A bit of smoked salmon adds a smoky element (and some protein) to the dish.

If you're looking to make an asparagus dinner in under 30 minutes, this is the dish for you.

What's your favorite asparagus recipe? I'm looking to bring some variety into my asparagus cooking over the next few weeks!

Asparagus, Goat Cheese and Smoked Salmon Pasta
recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 pound wheel-shaped pasta
1 pound asparagus spears, trimmed into 1-inch long pieces
1/8 cup olive oil
zest of two lemons
1 5-ounce log of fresh goat cheese
Fresh lemon juice (add to taste)
Smoked salmon (your preference; I used part of a fillet, no clue what quantity!) 

Heat a pot of well-salted water over high heat. Add pasta, and allow the pasta to boil, stirring regularly, until 3 minutes shy of the suggested cooking time. Add the chopped asparagus spears, and continue cooking the pasta for 2 to 3 minutes more, until the pasta is al dente.

Remove 1 cup of pasta water and set aside. Drain the pasta and the asparagus.

In a large bowl, combine olive oil, zest of two lemons, goat cheese (crumbled), and about 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice. Add the hot pasta and asparagus to the bowl, and add a few splashes of pasta water. Stir until the mixture is combined, adding additional pasta water as needed.

Season well with salt and pepper to taste. Add more lemon juice, if desired. Add the smoked salmon right at the end.


  1. The salmon, lemon and asparagus is one of my favorite go-to pasta toppings, but using the smoked salmon is a new twist for me, thanks!

    1. I didn't even think of using regular salmon! It's amazing what I don't consider until someone suggests it. Yum! I'm looking forward to trying that.

  2. If I ever get to the farmer's market early enough to get some of the fresh asparagus I am definitely going to try this - I love absolutely every ingredient!

    1. I must be spoiled. I got to the farmers' market at 4:30 p.m. yesterday and still got asparagus. Of course, I carried it home in the rain, but that's another story. I love all these ingredients too!