I can't believe I'm admitting this but one of my favorite dinners as a kid was Kraft Macaroni and Cheese with cubes of fried Spam in it.
This was a major treat for my sister and I during summer vacations at my dad's house back in the early 80s. I say a treat because I don't recall my mother ever letting us have Spam, boxed/canned cheese products or even chocolate cereal for that matter ( how uncool right??) Obviously she was way ahead of all of us. Anyway, my Kraft Mac and Cheese obsession came to an abrupt halt as soon and I was able to to read nutrition labels and well....that stuff isn't very healthy. Big shocker I know.
They other night I got a text with a picture attachment from my sister in San Fransisco. It was a fabulous looking plate of some sort of creamy looking pasta with the message, " I don't have a blog so I have to text you pictures of my dinner." ( cute ) So,
Erin discovered a bad ass recipe in "Food and Wine" magazine named, "Creamy Goat Cheese and Asparagus Orecchiette" and wanted to share this with y'all.
Can I just say O.M.G.
Goat cheese? Asparagus? Pasta? Can any combo sound any better?
An email with the recipe soon followed and I'm happy to say I think I found a healthier subsitute for my Kraft Macaroni and Cheese cravings.
Happy asparagus season to you Mainlanders!! I'll cross my fingers for an early spring.
Creamy Goat Cheese and Asparagus Orecchiette
3/4 lb orecchiette pasta ( I used penne )
1/4 cup good organic olive oil
1/2 medium red onion diced
3/4 lb asparagus spears, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 tsp crushed hot red pepper
1 tsp lemon zest
2 Tbs of lemon juice
salt and pepper
2 Tbs of fresh goat cheese ( I used 3 maybe 4 Tbs....what? )
1 Tb fresh snipped chives
freshly grated Parmesan Cheese ( I used Pecorino )
1) In a large, boil pasted in salted water until al dente. Reserve 2/3 cup of cooking water.
2) In a large deep skillet heat oil until simmering. Add onion and cook on med heat until softened. ( about 5 min ) Add red pepper and asparagus and cook until crispy tender. ( about 5 min )
3) Add pasta and reserved cooking water to skillet with lemon juice and zest; season with salt and black pepper. Cook and stir until a la dente and when asparagus is just tender. ( about 2 min ) Add goat cheese and chives until just melted. Serve with grated cheese.