Asparagus Filled Penne Candela Pasta Topped With Goat Cheese Gouda

26 04 2009
So I’m writing this before I finish even cooking this. Actually it is in the oven ask I type.  So I have no idea how it will turn out but I promise I’ll post the photo of the finished product at the top of the post when I have one. Oh here is one now…. (don’t forget to check out the post for the salad over here)….
Asparagus Filled Pasta Served with Miner's Lettuce, Radish Greens, and Radish Salad

Asparagus Filled Pasta Served with Miner's Lettuce, Radish Greens, and Radish Salad

I said what?! Asparagus filled pasta? Ok so this one started last night on the random trip to the PFI.  I ended up buying Penne Candela pasta with absolutely NO plan or rhyme and reason to what I would do with this finger thick and hollow pasta. But it looked intriguing doesn’t it?

Penne Candela Pasta

Penne Candela Pasta

I got back to the sous chef’s apartment and didn’t think anything of it until I was at the farmer’s market this morning and asparagus was EVERY WHERE!!!! And I thought to myself… I bet that would fit into my pasta and be a little crazy. 

Scale shot of uncooked Pasta

See? Wouldn't you immediately think "Asparagus would fit here!"

So I found some of the thinnest asparagus around and bought about 2 lbs of it.  I really still didn’t have a solid plan.  But I wanted to get some dressing for some greens so we stopped at the grocery store on the way home.  I wandered around and bought myself some standard red sauce to pour over whatever pasta plan I came up with and on we went home. But my pantry had another plan in store for me and the red sauce. 

Tomato Paste. I had 3 cans of tomato paste from random times when I thought I needed them. I also was cleaning my kitchen and was pouring out an old bottle of Merlot when I noticed it wasn’t bad. So I stopped. I had about a cup of Merlot and some tomato paste.  It just seemed so possible. A few googles later I found a page that informed me to make a basic red sauce from tomato paste just blend in a cup of water. A cup of wine. Check.  So I blended together 2 cans of tomato paste (1 was Italian flavor and 1 was normal) and 3/4 cup of Merlot.  But that isn’t enough light so in went the grape juice. I think I started off with about 1/2 cup but I ran out of space. Eventually I used probably closer to 1.5 cups of grape juice to thin out the tomato paste.

I decided that I should pre-cook the asparagus a bit before I tried to shove them into the cooked al dente pasta.  So I sauteed the asparagus for 3-4 minutes with some olive oil and garlic. Once the pasta was cooked to al dente and the asparagus was cooked a bit it was stuffing time!!!!

One Asparagus, Two Asparagus, STUFF TIME!

One Asparagus, Two Asparagus, STUFF TIME!

I started stuffing the pasta and the sous chef wanted to try it. If it wasn’t to hard.  All the pasta and asparagus later she had done it all. Not only wasn’t it hard, it was fun! I was very impressed by this pasta in that it held its shape very well and didn’t ripe pretty much at all except where it stuck to the pot.  It was really easy to shove in the asparagus and move the whole thing over to the pan.  So I layered the pan with the home made red sauce and then then layered the filled pasta over it.  Put some more red sauce in and another layer of pasta/asparagus hybrids.

Pasta Layering

Pasta Layering

Also, at the PFI I bought some expensive Goat Milk Gouda.  I couldn’t find the price before I committed to it and found it later on as listed as $14.50/lb. And you can only buy it by the pound. Luckily I only bought ONE pound….

1 lb of Goat Cheese Gouda with a taste section removed by me

1 lb of Goat Cheese Gouda with a taste section removed by me

We shredded up about 1/2 lb of the cheese and sprinkled it over the pile of asparagus filled pasta and red sauce.  We also had just a few stalks of asparagus left over so the sous chef recommended that we make a picture with them. So we did.

Ready for the Oven

Ready for the Oven

And into the 300 degree oven it went for about 30 minutes and it came out like this:

Cooked! And Ready to Serve.

Cooked! And Ready to Serve.

So how did it taste? Pretty darn good.  Overall I really liked it. The homemade “wine/grape juice/tomato paste sauce” was a bit on the stranger side but good.  The amount of asparagus that we were able to put into each piece of pasta really helped when cutting it with a fork. Basically the pasta was a solid mass and so it was cut really easily without tearing the pasta or having the asparagus roll around inside it.  Perhaps more comments to come tomorrow when I am less tired. We shall see.




One response

27 04 2009
CN Heidelberg

That looks fun! :D

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