Ryan runs a lot, especially in the summer. He has a race almost every weekend, which calls for extra pasta dinners.
I’m always down for a bowl of macaroni, but it’s summer, and every week I am trying to find new ways to lighten up our pasta dinners.
What usually ends up happening is I will walk down to the Hoboken Farmer’s market, stroll around a bit, and buy whatever looks good. That’s how this recipe came about. I saw some pretty asparagus and took it home!
I love asparagus wrapped in prosciutto, so I thought diced prosciutto or pancetta would be a good pairing in this pasta dish. OMG, I was so right! The blistered, almost peppery asparagus married very well with the salty pancetta and garlicky oil.
Like most pasta and olive oil recipes, this recipe is very forgiving. You can sub in or add different veggies, depending on what is in season and use the same cooking method.
pasta with asparagus and prosciutto
Salty prosciutto and fresh asparagus brighten up this simple and delicious pasta dish.
- 1 lb short cut pasta, like gemelli or penne (I think the shape of gemelli works best with the asparagus!)
- 4 T extra virgin olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic peeled
- 4 oz pancetta
- 1 lb asparagus cut in 1/3s
- Salt and pepper
- hot cherry pepper deseeded and sliced
- crushed red pepper optional
Fill a large pot ¾ full of water and salt it well. Bring to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Cook until al dente.
While the pasta cooks, pour olive oil in a large skillet and heat over medium. Add garlic and cook until it turns a light golden brown. Lower heat to low, and cook for 5 more minutes.
Remove the garlic from the skillet and raise the temperature to medium high. Add the pancetta and cook until crispy, about 5-8 minutes. Add the asparagus to the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Cook asparagus until is browns and blisters in some spots, about 5-10 minutes.
Drain pasta and stir into the skillet with the cherry peppers. Taste for seasoning, and add salt and pepper if needed. Top with crushed red pepper if you are using. Turn the stove off after all is combined.