1 pound asparagus
1/2 pound penne pasta or fettuccini
1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 (15oz) can chicken broth
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp tarragon or (1/2 tsp parsley, 1/2 tsp basil, & 1/4 tsp dill mixed)
1/2 tsp basil
1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
1 tsp lemon zest
1/2 cup grate Parmesan cheese
crushed red pepper, to taste
Heat a large pan of lightly salted water to boiling over high heat. Trim the ends of the asparagus. Cut the stalks into 2-inch pieces. Blanch in boiling water 3 minutes or until bright green and crisp-tender when tested with a small knife, do not overcook. With a slotted spoon, remove the asparagus and rinse under cold water or in an ice bath to stop the cooking. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the label directions until al dente. Drain.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Blend in the flour with a whisk and cook for 1 minute. Add the broth, garlic, and seasonings and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens. Blend in the goat cheese and the lemon peel and remove from heat.
Add the pasta, asparagus, and half of the parmesan cheese to the pan and stir. Serve with the remaining Parmesan, a dash of crushed red pepper, and freshly ground black pepper.