You can make this pasta salad with any veggies in your fridge – tomatoes, zucchini, red onion, the possibilities are endless. It’s perfect for the summer because it’s served cold, but you can have it warmed up as well and it tastes just as good. You can also add some feta crumbled on top, to give it another layer of flavour, and a drizzle of chilli oil for some added spice.
Using freshly grated parmesan makes such a difference, I find, but if it’s not available then pre-grated parmesan will do as well.
Asparagus and Pea Pasta Salad
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1/4 lemon, juiced and zested
- 2 tsp grainy mustard
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 garlic, grated or minced
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt, to taste
- 1 lb penne
- 1 bunch asparagus, cut diagonally if thick, or one inch sections if thin
- 1 cup peas
- 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan, plus more for serving
- 1/4 cup fresh basil
- Whisk all ingredients except for the olive oil together in a bowl. Add the oil in a slow steady stream, whisking constantly. Set aside.
- Remove the tough stems of the asparagus then cut each spear into one inch pieces if thin spears, or diagonally if thick spears.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook as per package instructions. Before the pasta is finished cooking, add the asparagus and the peas to the pot and cook it with pasta for the last 2 minutes. Meantime, chop up the sundried tomatoes and basil.
- Drain the pasta, asparagus, and peas, and rinse with cold water. Transfer to a large bowl. Whisk the dressing one more time, pour on top of the pasta, and toss to combine. Add sun dried tomatoes, grated parmesan, and basil on top, and toss lightly.
- Add additional cracked pepper and salt, to taste. Serve with extra parmesan.