Tagliarine with Roasted Asparagus, Herbed Goat Cheese and Crispy Prosciutto

  • 1 bunch fresh asparagus
  • Olive oil, salt and pepper
  • 4 slices prosciutto, sliced into 5 strips each and baked until crispy (about 5 mins at 350 degrees)
  • 1 cup leeks, rinsed of grit and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup chicken stock (or vegetable)
  • ¾ cup herbed goat cheese spread (see recipe on SCHUG website, in “Appetizers”)
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup diced sundried tomatoes
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup fresh chives, chopped (for garnish)
  • ½ lb. good egg tagliarine pasta

Preheat oven to 425°F. Cover a sheet pan with a piece of foil. Rinse and pat the asparagus dry with paper towels, then snap off tough stem ends- the breaking point of the asparagus is where the asparagus becomes tender. Discard tough ends.

Place the asparagus onto the foil and brush them with some olive oil.* Sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Put the asparagus into the hot oven. After about 5 minutes of roasting, remove the asparagus from the oven, turn them over and return them to the oven. Roast the asparagus for about another 4 or 5 minutes. They should be tender, and show bright green and browned roasted coloring when they are done. Remove them from the oven and set aside till pasta is ready. Turn oven off.

Add ¼ cup olive oil to a sauté pan and warm over medium heat. Add the sliced leeks and a pinch of salt. Gently cook the leeks for a few minutes until they have softened. Add the chicken stock to the leeks and bring to a simmer. Simmer the leeks for about 8-10 minutes or until they are very soft.

While leeks are cooking, fill a large pasta pot with water and salt generously. Bring the water to a boil, then add the tagliarine and cook over medium-high heat. Once the pasta begins to cook stir occasionally while pasta sauce is finished.

Bring the leek mixture back to a simmer over medium heat and add the herbed goat cheese to it, whisking gently to mix it in completely. Add the lemon juice, sundried tomatoes, parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Do not let the sauce boil.

Return the asparagus to the hot oven and warm a large serving bowl for a couple minutes, too. Check the pasta and when it is done (al dente) remove it from the pot and let it drain for a minute. Next, place the cooked pasta into the warmed serving bowl and pour the cheese mixture over it. Quickly stir and toss all the pasta so it is evenly coated with the sauce.

To serve: Place a few roasted asparagus onto each of 6 serving plates. Top with the hot pasta and place 3 or 4 pieces of crisp prosciutto onto the pasta. Garnish each with Parmesan cheese and fresh chives. Serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.

*Cook’s note: Bacon grease can also be used for roasting the asparagus.

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