Creamy Goat Cheese Pasta with Roasted Asparagus

2 bunches asparagus (2 pounds total), tough ends removed
4 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
12 ounces cavatappi or other short pasta
1 small log soft goat cheese (5 ounces), crumbled
2 to 3 tablespoons snipped fresh chives, for garnish

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for pasta. Place asparagus on a large rimmed baking sheet; dot with 1 tablespoon butter, and season with salt and pepper. Roast until tender, tossing occasionally, 10 to 15 minutes; cut into 2-inch lengths.
While asparagus is roasting, generously salt boiling water. Add pasta, and cook until al dente, according to package instructions. Set aside 1 1/2 cups pasta water; drain pasta and return to pot.
In a medium bowl, combine goat cheese, remaining 3 tablespoons butter, and 1/2 cup pasta water. Season with salt and pepper, and whisk until smooth. Add goat-cheese mixture and asparagus to pasta; toss to combine, adding more pasta water if necessary for sauce to coat pasta. Serve pasta garnished with chives.
(from everyday food)


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