RECIPE

Asparagus Pasta Salad

You can make this pasta ahead of time the night before – the flavors taste even better the next day!


Asparagus range in thickness from very thin to really thick. To cook evenly, select asparagus of uniform thickness. I use thin spears for my asparagus pasta salad. –RR

Ingredients

  • 1 small shallot or 1/2 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1 pound asparagus, thin spears
  • 2 endive, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 small red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 pound bowtie pasta (farfalle), cooked to al dente and cooled
  • 1/2 cup frozen green peas
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley (a couple of handfuls)
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

Heat the shallot and EVOO in microwave safe covered dish for 30 seconds or in a small pan on the stovetop over medium-low heat for five minutes. Allow EVOO to cool back to room temperature.

Hold a spear of asparagus at each end and snap it. The spear breaks where the tender tops meet the tough bottoms. Line the broken spear up with the bundle of cleaned asparagus. Cut the spears using the guideline of the snapped spear.

Par boil the asparagus tops in one inch simmering water covered for 3-5 minutes. Cool under cold running water and drain. Cut the asparagus into 1-inch pieces on an angle and add to a bowl.

Combine the chopped, cooked asparagus with shredded endive, red bell pepper, cooked pasta, green peas and chopped parsley. The peas will defrost as you toss the salad.

Pour vinegar into a small bowl and whisk in the cooled shallot oil. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss. Season the salad with salt and pepper, to your taste, and toss again.

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