Bowtie Pasta Salad with Asparagus, Smoked Mozzarella, and Prosciutto

1 poundSlender asparagus, cut diagonally into 3" pieces
½ poundFusilli or other shaped pasta
½ cupStella Cadente Meyer Lemon Olive Oil
2 TablespoonsSlivered garlic
½ cupDry white wine
1 largeRoasted red bell pepper, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 largeRoasted yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 cupSeeded and slivered plum tomatoes
¼ cupCoarsely chopped fresh basil
2 teaspoonsChopped fresh mint
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ poundSmoked mozzarella cheese, sliced into thin rounds
¼ poundPaper-thin slices of prosciutto or hot coppa salami
Fresh basil sprigs for garnish
Sweet Rice Wine Vinaigrette
¼ cupRice wine vinegar
½ teaspoonSea salt
1 teaspoonDijon-style mustard
2 teaspoonsLight brown sugar
1 teaspoonMinced garlic
½ cupStella Cadente Meyer Lemon Olive Oil
Freshly ground black pepper, plus more for sprinkling

 

In large pot of lightly salted boiling water, blanch the asparagus until crisp-tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. Using skimmer, remove asparagus from pot and immediately run cold water over it to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside.

Return the asparagus water to boil. Add the pasta to the pot and cook until just al dente. Drain the pasta and immediately run cold water over it to stop the cooking. Drain, transfer to a large bowl, and toss with 2 tbsp of Stella Cadente Meyer Lemon Olive Oil.

In a small saute pan, heat the remaining olive oil and saute the garlic over low heat until soft but not brown. Add the wine and increase the heat to moderate. Cook 3 to 4 minutes or until most of the wine has evaporated.

In a medium bowl, whisk all the vinaigrette ingredients together.

Combine the pasta with the asparagus, roasted peppers, tomatoes, basil, and mint. Add the garlic and wine mixture. Toss to combine. Add enough of the Sweet Rice Wine Vinaigrette to coat the ingredients thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve the pasta surrounded by the mozzarella and prosciutto. Garnish with the basil sprigs.

Serves 4 as an entree and 6-8 as a side dish.

Recommended wine: The smoky mozzarella beautifully plays off a fruity Chardonnay.

Recipe modified from John Ash's "From Earth to Table."


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