As I mention a few times in my book, the French love pasta. But of course, they generally have their own spin on it. Take this luscious example, which provides a great way to enjoy any veggies that look their freshest best at the market (and right now, that includes asparagus, n’est-ce-pas?).
Spiked with goat cheese, wine, and fines herbes, it’s a terrific French take on a quick, any-night pasta toss.
Market-Day Tagliatelle with Goat Cheese
Makes 4 servings
8 ounces dried tagliatelle or fettucine
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 cups fresh vegetables, cut into uniform pieces (see Note)
1 cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 scallions, sliced
2 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley, chives, or chervil, or a combination
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 ounces soft-ripened goat cheese, such as Vermont Butter and Cheese Creamery’s Bijou, crumbled or cubed
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the tagliatelle according to the package directions; drain.
2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat; add the vegetables and cook until barely tender-crisp, about 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes, wine, and scallions. Cook at an active simmer until the liquid is nearly evaporated, about 5 minutes; stir in the fresh herbs. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Combine the drained pasta, goat cheese, and vegetables in a large bowl. Toss until everything is combined and the cheese partially melts (a few warm, solid chunks are desirable). Divide among four wide, shallow bowls and serve.
Note: Good choices include julienned carrots, trimmed snow peas, sliced summer squash, trimmed and sliced asparagus, and small, tender green beans. The size of the cuts should be somewhat similar so that all of the vegetables cook at the same rate. Fresh spinach is a great addition, but wait to stir it in with the fresh herbs—you want it just to wilt slightly.