This Asparagus and Arugula Pasta Salad recipe uses some of my favorite spring ingredients, it’s quick and easy to make, and it’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser!
- 1 pound fresh asparagus, ends trimmed and discarded
- 1 pound whole-wheat pasta (I used DeLallo’s organic fusilli)
- juice and zest of 1 lemon (about 3 tablespoons juice, 1-2 tablespoons zest)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- (optional) 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 2 large handfuls fresh baby arugula
- 2/3 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese (or Parmesan cheese)
- 1/4 cup loosely-packed julienned (or torn) fresh basil
- freshly-cracked black pepper
- (optional: 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts)
- Cut the asparagus on the diagonal into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
- In a large stockpot filled with (generously-salted water*), cook pasta al dente according to package instructions. About 3 minutes before the pasta is done, stir the asparagus in with the pasta. When the pasta reaches al dente, pour the pasta and asparagus into a strainer (or strain out the hot water). Then rinse the pasta and asparagus with cold water until cooled.
- Return pasta to the stockpot and toss with lemon juice and zest and olive oil (and red wine vinegar, if using) until combined. Add in arugula, cheese, basil, and a few pinches of fresh pepper (and pine nuts, if using), and toss until combined. Taste and season with additional black pepper, if needed.
- Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
*It’s very important to be sure that your pasta water is well-salted, because this is the only time in the recipe that you can add salt.