I recently helped a friend pack up his apartment for a move and let him stay at my place because we had taken apart all of his furniture. The next morning his mother picked him up and bestowed upon me a giant bag of food and other items they wouldn’t be bringing to his new place. In it were a few boxes of regular pasta, which I’ve sort of developed an aversion towards since I began eating only whole grain varieties. However, the Italian boy in me won’t let an ounce of pasta go to waste. I checked the fridge and wound up with what I think is a nice summer dish (make some for the vegetarians at your Memorial Day party – you can serve it hot or cold):
- 1/2 bunch asparagus
- 1/2 lb. farfalle or other short pasta
- 2 Roma tomatoes
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 handful of fresh basil
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- Clean the asparagus and cut it on the bias, and save the stems. Add the minced garlic, chopped Roma tomatoes, and salt & pepper generously, then drizzle with olive oil and mix well. Roast uncovered at 425 degrees for 10-20 minutes.
- Add the asparagus stems to a pot of boiling water along with the pasta – I hate to just throw things out, so I decided to use the stems to infuse a little flavor into the pasta itself (just remember to remove them when you drain the pasta). If you time this correctly, the pasta will be done when the asparagus is finished roasting.
- While the other components are cooking, make a vinaigrette by mixing the juice of 1/2 a lemon (+/- zest), chopped basil, the Dijon, and salt & pepper. Whisk to combine, and continue whisking as you drizzle in about 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.
- Drain the pasta, remove any asparagus stems, and return to the pot. Mix in the roasted veggies and the vinaigrette and serve immediately,or chill and serve as a salad/antipasto (grated cheese optional). Recipe as written serves 2 adults.