Pasta Salad with Prosciutto, Asparagus, Black Pepper, and Romano

Pasta Salad with Prosciutto, Asparagus, Black Pepper, and Romano


  • 8 ounces uncooked cavatappi pasta or elbow macaroni
  • 3 cups (1 1/2-inch) slices asparagus (about 1 pound)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 ounces prosciutto, chopped
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
  • 6 tablespoons light mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 cup diced tomato
  • 1 1/2 ounces pecorino Romano cheese, grated (about 1/3 cup packed)


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.
  2. Add asparagus during the last 2 minutes of cooking.
  3. Drain and rinse under cold water; drain.
  4. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  5. Add olive oil to pan, and swirl to coat.
  6. Add prosciutto, and cook for 6 minutes or until crisp, stirring occasionally.
  7. Remove prosciutto from pan using a slotted spoon, leaving drippings in pan.
  8. Drain prosciutto on paper towels.
  9. Add the shallots to drippings in pan; cook over medium heat for 1 minute or until shallots are tender, stirring frequently.
  10. Combine mayonnaise, lemon rind, tarragon, juice, pepper, and salt in a large bowl; stir well.
  11. Add pasta, asparagus, three-fourths prosciutto, shallots, tomato, and cheese; toss well to coat.
  12. Top servings evenly with remaining prosciutto.

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