So, yeah. I’ve made this twice this in two weeks. And both times, I would’ve happily cage-fought a 12-ft tall land-sharkzilla for the leftovers. (Or a close second, a 6-ft-2 Jason.) Because it’s THAT amazing.
I’m already a carbonara fiend – pasta tossed with a creamy, peppery sauce made with eggs, Parmesan, and bacon. It’s quite possible the best thing to ever happen to pasta. And most dinner plates. But this version takes it one step further.
There’s bacon. Because bacon. And there’s asparagus because I sale-hoard produce like one of those abnormal people on TV. And there’s goat cheese because you name me one thing – ONE THING – that isn’t better with goat cheese.
The carbonara sauce is already magically creamy. And when the tangy goat cheese melts down into the sauce? Your one-bowl meal is simply tangy, creamy perfection.
Goat Cheese and Roasted Asparagus Carbonara
A creamy carbonara with goat cheese and roasted asparagus.
For the asparagus:
1 lb asparagus
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
For the pasta
8 oz linguine
1 tsp olive oil
4 slices thick-cut bacon, diced
1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded Parmesan (or ~2.5 oz by weight)
~2.5 oz goat cheese, crumbled (I used half a 5 oz log)
Preheat oven to 425.
Place asparagus and garlic on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Bake for 12-15 minutes and then cut the stalks in half or thirds.
Cook pasta according to package directions.
Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a saute pan over high heat and add the bacon, cooking until almost completely crisped.
Drain off all but ~1 Tbsp of oil, add the black pepper and, when the bacon has completely browned, remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl (big enough for mixing the entire recipe).
Add the eggs and Parmesan to the bowl, then add to the bacon mixture and crumbled goat cheese, stirring to mix well.
Set aside 1 cup of pasta water and then drain the pasta.
Immediately add the hot pasta and a splash or two of the hot pasta water (~2 Tbsp at a time) to the bowl, while stirring vigorously to create a creamy sauce.
Add the asparagus, toss to coat (adding additional water if necessary).
Who else went overboard and bought nearly 6lbs of asparagus because it was $.88/lb?
Welcome to the hoarder club!
Who else has eaten roasted asparagus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner pretty much every day?
Welcome to the we-clearly-don’t-understand-hoarding club!
Cheap asparagus means two things: 1) Spring is just around the corner (and seriously, could it be any slower this year?!) and 2) I probably just justified buying a not-on-the-shopping-list bottle of wine with my new-found savings. Or, you know, three.
Melty provolone cheese + plus gooey, tangy goat cheese + garlicky, roasted asparagus (+ bacon for Jason’s sandwich because if it’s green and not guacamole it better have bacon and heck, even if it is guacamole, bacon doesn’t hurt) = a pretty darn amazing grilled cheese sandwich.
So go ahead. Celebrate spring’s just-around-the-corner-return with a grilled asparagus & goat cheese sandwich.
Goat Cheese & Asparagus Grilled Cheese
Grilled cheese goes spring with tangy goat cheese and roasted asparagus.
Menu planning is one of my favorite and least-favorite times of the week. I have plenty of great ideas for main dishes but I tend to cycle through the same few vegetable sides over and over. Lately, it has been roasted broccoli and roasted asparagus.
I could eat roasted asparagus and broccoli every other night of the week and never get tired of it. And The Little adores “green sticks” and “baby trees”… even though she requires “white sauce” (ranch dressing) along side them both for dipping.
But hey. At least it’s not ketchup?
The other 1/3 of our household – not so overly crazy about roasted asparagus, ranch dressing or not. But since I had it on the menu three times this week, I decided to fancy it up with a little bacon.
Because If I’ve learned anything over the years about trying to make something green more appealing to picky eaters, it’s that bacon is usually the first – and only – step that you have to take. Last night’s roasted asparagus with bacon vinaigrette was no different.
And it’s a pretty easy dish to throw together, albeit in a bit of organized chaos. While the asparagus is roasting in the oven (right along side your main dish), chop the shallot and fry the bacon for the vinaigrette. By the time the asparagus is done, so is the dressing. And by the time I finished the side and chopped a quick green salad and shoved the entire contents of my “leftover bowl” cabinet back into the cabinet (do kids ever grow out of that stage?), the main dish was ready.
Organized chaos. It’s a delicious thing.
And so is bacon.
Roasted Asparagus with Bacon Vinaigrette
Roasted asparagus dressed up with a warm bacon vinaigrette.
For the asparagus:
1 1/2-2 lbs asparagus, woody ends trimmed
For the vinaigrette:
3 slices bacon, diced
3/4 cup chopped shallot (~1 1/2 medium shallots)
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp dijon mustard
Preheat the oven to 400 (or if you're baking a main dish alongside, whatever that recipe requires and then adjust the cooking time for the asparagus).
Line a baking sheet with foil.
Drizzle the asparagus with just a little olive oil - just enough to keep it from sticking to the foil - and bake on the lined baking sheet for ~15 minutes (thinner stalks a few minutes shorter, extra thick stalks longer).
Over medium-high heat, fry the chopped bacon to a crisp in a medium pan.
Transfer bacon pieces with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate, leaving behind as much fat in the pan as possible.
Reduce heat to medium and saute the shallots until softened, 3-5 minutes.
Turn off the heat and add the white wine vinegar, stirring and scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
Stir in the mustard and olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.
If the dressing seems a little strong, add another teaspoon of olive oil. (I personally like the sharpness but you might want to tone it down with the extra olive oil.)
Pour dressing and bacon over asparagus, lightly toss, and serve.
If you're planning to have leftovers, reserve some of the cooked bacon to top just before serving, otherwise, it loses it's crispness.
Yields: 6-8 servings
Vinaigrette adapted from The New Way to Cook Light
That looks (and sounds!) a lot fancier than it really is. It’s Eggs Benedict, dressed up with leftovers from the previous night’s Burgers Oscar.
“Oscar style” in this house involves asparagus, Bearnaise, and crab – king crab when I don’t have to sell a kidney to afford it. I don’t know what it is about Bearnaise sauce that makes you want to lick the entire pot clean but – wait, I do. It’s the whole stick of butter in the recipe.
We serve a few things Oscar style around here: steaks, crostini, and burgers. So adding it to Jason’s “desert island food” Eggs Benedict wasn’t so much a stretch. And it was equally unsurprising that it was plate-licking delicious.