Creamy pasta with roasted asparagus

It was a good Monday.  I had a very productive day at work, and I finished listening to Billy Crystal’s book, “Still Foolin’ ‘Em.” I listen to a lot of audiobooks at work, and I enjoy autobiographical books, especially when they are read by the author because they can relay their words in a way no one else reading the book can.  I’m really not much into fantasy or science fiction, but I have found myself on a fiction kick lately, especially books in a series.  I listened to The Hunger Games books last winter, and I’m on a huge waiting list for “Divergent,” so my dilemma is what book to listen to next.  I started Arthur C. Clarke’s book, “Time’s Eye,” which is the first book in the “A Time Odyssey” series.  I really, really like his “A Space Odyssey” series, but this one hasn’t captured me yet.  Maybe I just need to give it a little more time.  I have a new project coming up at work that I’m really excited about, and because it will require more focused brain power, I won’t be able to listen to audiobooks while working on it.  Maybe that’s a good thing.  Give myself a break, y’know?  Sometimes I just have to rock out to some Spotify for a day or two before going back to the audiobooks.

Hubby and I took The Stinker for a run after work, and after I did my sit ups and lifted weights, I started dinner.  I prepared the asparagus and threw it in the oven to roast while I showered (I love multi-tasking!).  After my shower I finished dinner, did the dishes, and still managed to catch most of Dancing with the Stars.  Stinker curled up next to me on the futon (the only piece of furniture she is allowed on) and snored during most of the show. 

This recipe is modified (of course) from a recipe in The Essential Vegetarian Cookbook, perhaps my favorite cookbook.  Nah, I can’t say that.  I don’t play favorites with my cookbooks–I try to spread the love around and try new recipes as often as I can.  Keeps life exciting.  I absolutely love roasted asparagus, and I love creamy pasta dishes, so this recipe was a double win.  And it was a great way to start off my week.

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Creamy pasta with roasted asparagus

1 lb. asparagus

1 tablespoon oil

salt and pepper

12 oz. of your favorite pasta

1 tablespoon butter

2 tablespoons flour

2 cups milk

1 teaspoon roasted garlic powder

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons grated Gouda cheese

2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon dried parsley

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup sour cream

Wash asparagus and trim woody ends.  Cut spears into bite-sized pieces.  Toss with oil and a little salt and pepper in a roasting pan.  Roast in a 400 degree F oven for 25 minutes, stirring once about halfway through.  When time is up, turn off oven and leave asparagus in oven until ready to serve.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package instructions and drain.  While pasta is cooking, melt butter in saucepan over medium heat.  Add flour and whisk well.  Immediately add milk, continually whisking to avoid clumping.  When sauce begins to thicken, add remaining ingredients, stirring until the cheeses melt.  Adjust salt to taste.  Add asparagus to sauce, stirring to coat.  Pour asparagus and sauce over pasta and serve.

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