When I was younger, I used to dread Sundays. As a child, it meant early bedtime for school the next morning, and as a teen, it meant a copious amount of schoolwork that had been left undone the entire weekend. Now, Sundays are for making yummy dishes like this pasta with asparagus!
Pasta with Asparagus
Sundays are one of my favorite days of the week. Sundays are a day for me to relax and refresh.
I enjoy a lazy breakfast, pick up groceries and fresh flowers from the farmer’s market, and then I spend the day cooking and eating a long, languid meal with family and friends.
Lunch might start with a little bruschetta or garlic bread, maybe some mixed olives. Then there’s a light arugula salad and a main course made with the seasonal produce I picked up at the market.
This Sunday, the menu featured pasta with asparagus, mushrooms, and creamy chèvre.
Asparagus is one of those vegetables that can be served alongside almost any food. A little grated parmesan and lemon zest, and you can create the perfect asparagus gratin as a side dish.
You can cut it up and toss it with pasta, or you can wrap it in prosciutto like I’ve done here and simply garnish the pasta with it.
When shopping for asparagus, you want to look for asparagus that’s got stiff, dry tips with a lovely, fresh green color. Stay away from asparagus that’s got wimpy tips or a yellow-ish appearance.
Since the bottom of asparagus is usually tough and sandy, it’s best to thoroughly wash and cut about an inch off the bottoms.
This pasta with asparagus comes together in about 20 minutes. While the pasta is boiling, I simply wrap the asparagus in prosciutto and roast the prosciutto for 7 to 10 minutes.
Over the stove, I sauté mushroom and garlic, then toss the pasta in with a little pesto sauce. The finishing touches are the prosciutto-wrapped asparagus and creamy chèvre.
The result is a heavenly pasta that will make you absolutely love asparagus season. There’s no heavy sauce getting in the way of you enjoying the tender, fresh asparagus. The salty, crisp prosciutto adds a nice contrasting flavor as well, which is why I love roasting it with the asparagus.
If you don’t enjoy goat cheese, you can sub any other cheese of your choice, but I just love the way goat cheese becomes even more creamy and delectable when it comes in contact with warm food.
I’m not ashamed to say that this pasta with asparagus was my favorite part about my Sunday!
Pasta with Asparagus
Bow-tie pasta tossed with basil pesto and prosciutto-wrapped asparagus.
- 8 oz bowtie pasta cooked with 1/4 cup pasta water reserved
- 8 stalks of asparagus
- 3 tbsp olive oil divided
- 8 sheets of prosciutto
- 2 cloves large garlic minced
- 4 oz mushrooms sliced
- 2.5 tbsp basil pesto
- salt to taste
- splash of lemon juice
- 4 oz chevre crumbled
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Rinse the asparagus well, then pat dry. Cut about an inch off the bottom of the asparagus stalks. Wrap each asparagus in each sheet of prosciutto, wrapping at a diagonal so that most of the asparagus stalk is enveloped inside the prosciutto.
Add a tablespoon of the olive oil to a cast-iron, or oven-safe, pan. Place the prosciutto-wrapped asparagus in the pan and roast for 5 minutes. Turn on the oven's broil setting and broil the asparagus for another 2 to 5 minutes, or until the asparagus is fork-tender and the prosciutto is crispy.
Take the pan out of the oven and place on top of the stove. Remove the asparagus and transfer to a plate; temporarily set aside. To the pan, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and turn on the heat to medium. Add the minced garlic and sliced mushrooms; sauté until mushrooms are cooked (about 2-3 minutes).
Add the reserved pasta water and cooked pasta to the pan. Add the basil pesto (see note). Give everything a toss, then taste test for salt. Add a splash of lemon, if desired.
Before serving, garnish pasta with crumbled chevre and the prosciutto-wrapped asparagus.