I love a good pasta salad. Don’t you? However, I feel that I have had my quota of pasta salads doused in Italian dressing. I am soooo over them. So, I went on the hunt for a pasta salad with a twist and I believe I found it! The ingredients are simple, but when they come together–it’s magic! The proscuitto is definitely the star, the tarragon and fresh pepper make an apperance, and the lemon juice closes the show.
This is positively the best pasta salad I have ever had! I have to say, however, that I enjoyed it the most at room temperature and immediately after putting it together. When I had more the next day, I popped it in the microwave for 10 seconds and it was great! Daughter #3 and her husband thought it was awesome cold, so to each his own. I read somewhere that cold pasta is better if you are dieting because it digests slower. My daughter thought it would be the perfect accompaniment to a 1/2 croissant sandwich. I agree, although, I think this is also a perfect main dish with your favorite bread on the side. I was happy just eating it out of the bowl and couldn’t stop! Is it too soon to make this again today?
- 8 ounces cavattapi pasta or elbow macaroni
- 3 cups (1 lb.) asparagus cut into 1-1/2" slices
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 3 oz. prosciuto, chopped
- ½ cup thinly sliced shallots (about 2)
- 6 tablespoons mayonnaise (I used olive oil mayo)
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tableslpoon chopped fresh tarragon or ½ teaspoon dried tarragon
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Dash of salt
- 1 cup diced tomato
- 1-1/2 oz. pecorino Romano cheese, grated (about ⅓ cup packed)
- Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt. Add asparagus slices to the pasta during the last 2 minutes of cooking time. Drain and rinse under cold water. Drain.
- Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil to 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; cook over medium heat for 1 minute or until shallots are tender, stirring frequently.
- Combine mayonnaise, lemon rind, lemon juice, tarragon, pepper and salt in a large bowl. Whisk until well-blended. Add pasta, asparagus, prosciutto,shallots, tomato and cheese. Toss well to coat. Enjoy!
Et cetera: This recipe was adapted from My Recipes.com.