Recently, my friend Amy from Rainy Day Cravings posted on Facebook that she’d just made the best pasta salad she’d ever had. Being a huge pasta salad fan, I knew I had to try her Asparagus and Prosciutto Pasta Salad.
I was even more certain when I saw that crispy prosciutto and fresh asparagus were among the main ingredients. This pasta salad is so different–in a good way–from any other pasta salad I’ve had before.
In additional to asparagus and prosciutto, there are sautéed shallots, fresh tomatoes, and fresh tarragon.
Everything is tossed with a light, lemony dressing for a simple yet sophisticated pasta salad that’s perfect as a light lunch or side.
Feel free to substitute chopped tomato in place of the cherry tomatoes, and elbow macaroni in place of the cavatappi, but do take the time to saute the prosciutto and shallots!
It only takes a few minutes and makes this dish extra special.
Asparagus and Prosciutto Pasta Salad
- 8 ounces cavatappi pasta
- 2-3 cups asparagus cut into 1-1/2 inch slices (about 1 lb.)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 3 oz. prosciutto, chopped
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced shallots
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1-2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
- Dash of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Add asparagus to the pasta during the last 2 minutes of cooking time. Rinse under cold water. Drain.
- Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pan and swirl to coat. Add prosciutto and cook for 6 minutes or until crisp, stirring occasionally.
- Remove prosciutto from pan using a slotted spoon, leaving drippings in pan. Drain prosciutto on paper towels.
- Add the shallots to the drippings in pan and cook over medium heat for 1 minute or until shallots are tender, stirring frequently.
- In a large bowl whisk together mayonnaise, remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, lemon rind, lemon juice, tarragon, salt and pepper.
- Add pasta, asparagus, prosciutto, shallots, tomatoes and Parmesan cheese. Toss well to coat. Refrigerate until serving.
Who Dished It Up First: Amy from Rainy Day Cravings