Asparagus & Prosciutto Pasta Salad

updated Jul 27, 2020
Snapshot Cooking
Asparagus & Prosciutto Pasta Salad

Grilled asparagus, prosciutto ribbons, and baby spinach star in a fast and fancy pasta salad.

Serves8 to 12

Prep15 minutes

Cook10 minutes to 12 minutes

Jump to Recipe
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: CC Buckley/Kitchn

If you’re a sucker for bacon-wrapped asparagus, you’ll quickly fall in love with this crave-worthy pasta salad. Inspired by the beloved two-ingredient appetizer, this summery dish is packed with thin ribbons of salty prosciutto, smoky grilled asparagus spears, and tender baby spinach, all tossed in a bright (store-bought!) vinaigrette. It’s a far cry from the boring pasta salads you might be used to, but comes together just as easily.

Grill Asparagus for Smoky Summer Flavor

While asparagus tastes great roasted, sautéed, and steamed, we like to toss it on the grill for this pasta dish. When seared with blackened grill marks, the spears offer a smoky, fresh flavor to the summery salad. Use a grill basket to corral the asparagus spears, or lay them perpendicular to the grates to keep them above the flame. Wait to cut them into bite-sized pieces until after they’re cooked — longer spears are easier to maneuver on the grill.

Asparagus & Prosciutto Pasta Salad

Grilled asparagus, prosciutto ribbons, and baby spinach star in a fast and fancy pasta salad.

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 10 minutes to 12 minutes

Serves 8 to 12

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1 pound

    thin asparagus

  • 1 tablespoon

    olive oil

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt, plus more as needed

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed

  • 2 cups

    fresh spinach

  • 3 ounces

    thinly sliced prosciutto

  • 1 pound

    dried, short pasta

  • 6 tablespoons

    store-bought lemon-garlic or Parmesan-garlic vinaigrette

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, heat an outdoor grill to medium-high, direct heat (400 to 450ºF). Trim 1 pound thin asparagus, then drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, season with 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and toss to combine. Coarsely chop 2 cups fresh spinach, cut 3 ounces prosciutto crosswise into thin strips, and place both in a large bowl.

  2. Add 1 pound pasta to the boiling water and cook according to package directions until al dente, 10 to 12 minutes. Meanwhile, place the asparagus in a grill basket (or lay perpendicular to grill grates so they don’t fall through). Cover and grill until crisp-tender, bright green, and tips are charred, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer from to a cutting board and cut crosswise into thirds.

  3. When the pasta is ready, drain and rinse with cold water to cool. Drain well. Transfer to the bowl of spinach and prosciutto, add the asparagus and 6 tablespoons lemon-garlic (or Parmesan-garlic) vinaigrette, and toss to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: To make the salad in advance, dress with 1/4 cup dressing during assembly. Toss with the remaining 2 tablespoons dressing just before serving.

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 4 days.