A marvelous way to celebrate the springtime arrival of asparagus – a fresh and mildly sweet vegetable that contains a relatively high amount of plant-based protein. Simple yet elegant, this meal is perfect accompanied by a fresh garden salad and your loved ones gathered around the table. Enjoy!
Use organic ingredients when possible
2 bunches (approx. 2 lbs or 500g) asparagus
½ lbs (approx. 225g) shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and thinly sliced
2 tbsp avocado oil
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
12 oz (340g) rotini or fusilli pasta (regular, whole wheat, or gluten-free)
8 oz (approx. 226g) soft goat cheese
2 tbsp grass-fed butter
Chives (optional garnish)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Trim the asparagus (snapping or cutting the bottom woody part off) and cut into ¾-inch chunks. Place alongside the sliced shiitake mushrooms in a single layer on a large parchment-lined baking sheet (saves you on clean-up time afterward). Drizzle the oil over the vegetables and sprinkle with a good pinch or two of sea salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Toss everything to coat, keeping the asparagus separated from the shiitakes. Roast in the oven until the asparagus is fork-tender and the shiitakes are crispy, 15 to 20 minutes, turning the vegetables at the halfway mark to ensure even roasting.
While the vegetables are roasting, cook the pasta al dente according to the package directions, drain well, reserving about 1 cup of the pasta cooking water.
In a large bowl, crumble the goat cheese and add the butter and half a cup of the reserved hot pasta water. Stir until the cheese and butter come together and are creamy. Stir in the pasta, loosening with a little more reserved pasta water, if needed to make it saucier.
When the vegetables are done, toss into the pasta. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, sprinkling in some sea salt and black pepper as desired. Top the pasta with the crispy shiitake mushrooms and chopped chives for garnish.
Serve immediately with a lemon-dressed spring garden salad on the side.