Switch up your go-to pasta salad recipe with asparagus and goat cheese! Tossed in a pesto dressing and sprinkled with crispy bacon, this is sure to be a hit at your next BBQ.
It’s asparagus season! Here in Michigan, we have the luxury of having fresh, handpicked asparagus every spring. I honestly didn’t realize how they grew or how much work was involved until I went on a tour a couple of years ago. Did you know Michigan is the 2nd biggest grower of asparagus? It really kicks off the Michigan produce season.
We went right to the fields to see how they’re grown and picked daily. They grow in rows and are quite delicate, so they are hand snapped. Since their season is short, you need to be on the field daily to pick. During hot days it grows so fast, asparagus might be picked TWICE daily!
Seeing firsthand how much work is involved made me appreciate asparagus season so much more! Growing up, I remember it was always a big deal to have it as a side–my mom usually served it with grilled white fish, another Michigan favorite.
Tossed in olive oil and grilled is my favorite way to prepare asparagus, yet I’ve been experimenting more this year than ever. I love it in pasta with a quick, cheesy alfredo sauce or wrapped in bacon for brunch. SO many options! I like to pick up asparagus at Meijer or our local market, Horrocks.
Pasta salad is a go-to in the warmer months for gatherings, so I thought a new variety would be great. Pairing asparagus with creamy goat cheese was a huge hit in our house!
Quick tip: store asparagus in a mason jar in your fridge to help it keep longer. I add a little water in the bottom, as if it were a flower.
Looking for a fresh new asparagus recipe? Look no further! Using creamy goat cheese and bow tie pasta, this will be a huge hit at your next BBQ! Don't skimp on the crispy bacon!
- 1 box Farfalle pasta (Bow tie) 12 oz
- 1/4 pound Fresh Michigan asparagus, trimmed and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
- 4 oz Goat cheese crumbled
- 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped in bite sized pieces
- 5 slices cooked bacon, crumbled we love Smithfield homestyle!
- 1 teaspoon prepared pesto we love Kirkland brand from Costco!
- 1/2 lemon juiced about 2 Tablespoons
- 1 shallot finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon chopped sundried tomatoes
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Salt & Pepper, to taste
Fill a large soup pot with water. Bring to a boil. Slowly pour in pasta and asparagus. Cook to al dente, about 5 minutes. Strain and set aside.
Using a small chopper, blend pesto, lemon juice, shallot, garlic and sundried tomatoes. Pulse to combine and season with salt, pepper. Pour in olive oil. Pulse again.
Pour the dressing into the bottom of a large bowl. Toss in pasta/asparagus mixture. Coat with dressing.
Sprinkle goat cheese into the bowl. Toss to coat the pasta. The mixture should become creamy.
Add red pepper and bacon crumbles.
Serve slightly warm or chilled.
After chilling, the pasta salad might need a bit more pesto to reconstitute.
You can easily add more veggies to this pasta salad and if you’re not a fan of goat cheese, try feta or a similar crumbly soft cheese.