Goat Cheese Pasta with Asparagus

1 bunch asparagus (1 pound), tough ends removed
5 tablespoons butter, divided
6 ounces cavatappi (or other short, ridged pasta)
4 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
fresh chives or parsley, for garnish
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 450*F. Spread asparagus out on a large rimmed baking sheet, dot with 2 tablespoons butter, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until tender, 10-15 minutes depending on thickness of spears. Remove from oven, cool slightly, then cut into 2 inch pieces.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil. Generously salt, then add pasta and cook until al dente (refer to package instructions for time). Reserve 3/4 cup pasta water, then drain cooked pasta; return to pot and add asparagus.

Combine goat cheese, remaining butter, and 1/2 cup pasta water in a bowl. Whisk until smooth, season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour over pasta and stir to combine. Garnish with snipped chives or chopped parsley, if desired.

adapted from Everyday Food: Fresh Flavor Fast
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