No. 154: Asparagus, Goat Cheese & Chicken Sausage Pasta

Weeknight meals must be fast.

They must be no fuss.

They must please.

They must leave you time to catch up on your DVR or work email.

They can be hard to do well.

But not if you are Mrs. Rose! Leave it to The Rose Record to come up with another terrific weeknight + date night combination. This recipe was the perfect meal for us to share before I headed out on a work trip.

Ingredients

1 pound short cut pasta
1 pound asparagus, cut into one inch pieces
12 ounces fully cooked chicken sausage, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup goat cheese
1 lemon, zest and juice
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

To make

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add several pinches of salt and the pasta. Prep your asaparagus and sausage while pasta starts.

Prepped asparagus

During the last two minutes of the pasta cooking (you want the pasta to be al dente in the end), add the asparagus into the pot of boiling pasta water. Cook until pasta is cooked through and asparagus is soft, but still has a bite to it and is bright green in color.

Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water just in case you need it later. Then, drain pasta and asparagus and set aside.

Colander

In the same pot used to cook the pasta, add olive oil, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes and heat over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the sausage pieces and saute until slightly brown and heated through.

Sausage simmering

Turn off the heat and add the lemon juice, lemon zest, pasta, and asparagus to the pot and stir to combine. Crumble in the goat cheese with your hands and stir to combine. It will melt quickly and coat the pasta.

If the “sauce” feels too thick, add a little pasta water and stir. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

The results

Who doesn't love a weeknight dish that can all be done in one pot? Add the ease of fully cooked sausage and ingredients that can cook together and you have a wonderfully elegant 30-minute meal.

Pasta bowl

Mr. McCormick usually avoids pasta and goat cheese, but he enjoyed this hearty meal. I upped the red pepper flake and asparagus amounts for some additional spice and green, which fit our tastes nicely.

Need a last minute date night? This is a terrific go-to. Check out some other great wine night ideas from The Rose Record too.

Check out a full index of recipes here
Send me your thoughts, comments and ideas at theresolvedcook@gmail.com