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Black Pepper Pasta Salad with Prosciutto, Asparagus, and Romano

Photo: Romulo Yanes; Food Styling: Simon Andrews; Prop Styling: Helen Crowther
Hands-on time 35 mins
Total time 35 mins
Yield Serves 8 (serving size: about 1 cup)
This mayonnaise-based pasta salad veers from the traditional with salty Italian ham, nutty asparagus, and a generous grinding of pepper.

Ingredients

  • 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)

Nutrition Information

  • calories 208
  • fat 7 g
  • satfat 1.9 g
  • monofat 1.8 g
  • polyfat 2.3 g
  • protein 9.3 g
  • carbohydrate 27.9 g
  • fiber 2.5 g
  • cholesterol 15 mg
  • iron 2.5 mg
  • sodium 367 mg
  • calcium 86 mg

How to Make It

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Add asparagus during the last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain and rinse under cold water; drain.

  2. Heat a large nonstick 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 drippings in pan; cook over medium heat for 1 minute or until shallots are tender, stirring frequently.

  3. Combine mayonnaise, lemon rind, tarragon, juice, pepper, and salt in a large bowl; stir well. Add pasta, asparagus, three-fourths prosciutto, shallots, tomato, and cheese; toss well to coat. Top servings evenly with remaining prosciutto.