Light yet loaded with flavor, this asparagus pasta makes for a quick and easy meal when a simple pasta dish is what entices. Tender spaghetti noodles are tossed with crisp-tender asparagus, peas and crispy prosciutto in a lemony, garlic butter sauce making this asparagus pasta recipe an extra comforting pick when asparagus is in season!
Asparagus, The Perfect Pick for a Delicious Pasta Dish
If there's one thing that I truly appreciate when life get a little busy during the week, is a quick pasta dish I can easily put together, with mouthwatering results.
During asparagus season, which begins in late February and goes through June, I really love to incorporate this tender, stalky veggie into as many dishes as possible.
In our household, we really enjoy asparagus!
Delicious in everything from my savory and nutritious asparagus soup, to my asparagus quiche, to my hot and crispy parmesan asparagus, or even simply tossed with a tasty sauce and sliced almonds in my sauteed asparagus recipe, this versatile veg gives so many dishes an extra pop of color and texture.
Not to mention, asparagus is high in fiber, folate, and vitamins A, C and K. Nice goin', asparagus!
So when I recently had a little craving for a comforting-yet-light pasta dish made with just a handful of ingredients and loaded with lots of flavor, I turned to asparagus as the star of it...
Simple spaghetti noodles are combined with vibrant, crisp-tender asparagus bites, plus peas and some smoky-salty crispy prosciutto—such as good partnership!
And all of this gets a nice toss in a slightly lemony, garlic butter sauce for a slick, rich, flavorful coating, as well as a finishing sprinkle of shaved parmesan and perhaps some toasted pine nuts.
This asparagus pasta recipe is a terrific pick anytime fresh, vibrant asparagus is abundant and in season, whether winter or early summer!
My Asparagus Pasta with Prosciutto Recipe
To make this asparagus pasta recipe extra delicious and extra cozy, I like to use a few ingredients to help create that rich, earthy flavor, to toss the pasta together with.
Besides using bite-size pieces of asparagus that I quickly blanch just until they're tender yet still have a little crisp texture, as well as peas, I also like to add in a bit of a smoky-saltiness by way of prosciutto…
Oh, do I love crispy prosciutto...
And for this, I simply crisp up slices of prosciutto as one would bacon (though it's much quicker to crisp), then chop the slices up into smaller bits.
These lend a bit of extra flavor which is little more mild than bacon, and which compliments the other delicate flavors in the pasta dish.
When it comes to tossing the spaghetti noodles, as well as these other ingredients, with a sauce, I keep things simple by using a combination of butter and olive oil, lots of garlic, and a touch of lemon zest and juice.
This simple sauce just coats the pasta and the veggies deliciously, before the crispy prosciutto is sprinkled in and the finishing touches are added.
Here's a sneak peek at my recipe for asparagus pasta with prosciutto: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- To get started, I first blanch my asparagus pieces and shock them in ice water.
- Then, I cook my spaghetti noodles according to package instructions, drain them, and keep them warm.
- While my pasta cooks, I crisp my prosciutto, then chop it, and set aside.
- In a large skillet, I prepare my quick and easy lemony garlic butter sauce.
- Next, I add the noodles, the asparagus, peas, and half of my crispy prosciutto, and toss together to coat everything and combine.
- To serve, I spoon into bowls, then sprinkle equal amounts of the remaining crispy prosciutto over individual servings, then top with shaved parmesan, toasted pine nuts, and fresh basil or parsley.
Asparagus Pasta with Prosciutto
by Ingrid Beer
This cozy asparagus pasta is brimming with savory, crispy prosciutto and peas, tossed together with a simple, lemony, garlic butter sauce!
Yield: Serves 6
Nutrition Info: 483 calories per serving
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
- 1 ½ pounds asparagus (tough, stalky bottoms snapped off), cut into ½ inch pieces
- 10 ounces uncooked spaghetti pasta
- 4 ounces prosciutto
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 8 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 (heaping) teaspoon lemon zest
- 6 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter
- Black pepper
- 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
- ½ cup grated or shaved parmesan cheese, for garnish
- Basil leaves, torn or julienned, for garnish
- Toasted pine nuts, optional garnish
- Begin by gathering and prepping all of your ingredients according to the ingredient list above to have ready and organized for use.
- To cook your pasta, place a large pot of well-salted water over high heat. Once the water is beginning to boil (and before you add in your spaghetti), add your asparagus pieces in to blanch for about 1 to 1 ½ minutes, just until crisp-tender. Remove with a slotted spoon and plunge into ice water to stop the cooking. Drain, and set the asparagus aside.
- Now, add the spaghetti into the boiling water, and cook according to the package instructions. Once cooked, drain the pasta and keep warm.
- While the spaghetti cooks, place a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, and working in batches, add in your prosciutto slices and crisp them for a few moments as you would bacon. Place onto paper towel to drain, then chop the prosciutto and set aside.
- Place a large, deep skillet or pan over medium heat, and add in the olive oil. Once hot, add in the garlic and the Italian seasoning (and red pepper flakes, if using), and stir until it becomes aromatic, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Next, add in the lemon juice and zest, along with the butter (this will all bubble up), along with a good pinch of salt and black pepper, and whisk to blend the butter into the sauce. Once blended, add into the pan the cooked spaghetti, the asparagus, the peas, and about half of the chopped, crispy prosciutto, and toss to combine the ingredients well. Turn off the heat.
- Serve the asparagus pasta in bowls, topped with a little more or the remaining prosciutto, along with some of the parmesan cheese and some basil.
Tips & Tidbits for my Asparagus Pasta with Prosciutto recipe:
- Spaghetti pasta, or your favorite kind: I enjoy simple spaghetti pasta here, because I love how each strand gets nice and slick with all the garlicky, buttery flavor...and I can twirl it around my fork! However, feel free to use any pasta you'd like, from penne, to bow ties, to bucatini (another of my faves!).
- Medium thickness asparagus: When choosing your asparagus, choose spears that are not too thick nor too thin. Medium-size spears work best, since they provide some texture without being too huge, and also don't break up or get lost in the pasta as extra-thin asparagus can.
- Substitutions for the prosciutto: While prosciutto is truly extra delicious and kinda special in this recipe, feel free to substitute if you prefer. You can use bacon, turkey bacon, or even pancetta that you crisp up.