During springtime, fresh asparagus start popping up everywhere in local markets. Living in Los Angeles, we do tend to see them many months a year, however during this season they are more special because their grassy flavors are so notable. I enjoy asparagus prepared in many ways, but especially cooked into a pasta with other ingredients, and this time around I paired them with ham and a tubular corkscrew pasta called, cavatappi in a creamy goat cheese sauce that’s super easy to make in an Instant Pot.
Making pasta in an Instant Pot takes about 10 minutes from heat up to cool down. The ingredients all cook together, so there’s no boiling of noodles separately. What makes this dish so special is that the final sauce is made by adding fresh goat cheese to the pot, after the pasta mixture has been fully cooked, so the cheese melts gently and thickens the dish beautifully. I love how the noodles cling to the flavorful goat cheese sauce and the smoky ham highlights the asparagus delicately. This dish is definitely one to make during the week when time is tight because dinner is done in just minutes.
1/2 white onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup diced ham, any variety
1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
12 ounces dried cavatappi pasta, or other similar noodle like rigatoni
3 1/2 cups chicken broth
10 ounces fresh goat cheese
2 teaspoons fresh dill, minced
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, for dusting
olive oil for cooking
- In an Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker, add 2 teaspoons of oil, onions and garlic. Sauté for 2 minutes.
- Add ham and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add asparagus and stir. Turn off heat.
- Add pasta and broth, stir to combine. Place lid on top and seal. Cook on high for 6 minutes.
- Vent steam immediately and turn off heat. Add goat cheese in large chunks and stir until creamy.
- Add dill and stir. Spoon into bowls and top with parmesan cheese. Enjoy!