Roasted Asparagus Caprese Pasta Salad

A spring twist on a classic Italian salad: roasted asparagus meets Caprese salad and pasta.

A spring twist on a classic Italian salad: roasted asparagus meets Caprese salad and pasta. @tspbasil

What I am craving this time of year: asparagus and rhubarb.

Interesting fact: both of them are perennial vegetables meaning after being planted, they come back every year —>a rare thing here in North America.

Side bar: it is slightly ironic that I’m even talking about anything to do with growing crops as a) I have the blackest of black thumbs and b) I don’t garden (all the more reason to support my local farmers!)

For tomato + asparagus lovers: Roasted Asparagus Caprese Pasta Salad via @tspbasil Click To Tweet

While I have yet to get me some rhubarb this year (and I usually make Serena’s versatile Rhubarb Sauce first), I picked up some asparagus at Trader Joe’s last week. It wasn’t local but I couldn’t resist because it means spring IS HERE!

A spring twist on a classic Italian salad: roasted asparagus meets Caprese salad and pasta. @tspbasil

When I brought it home, I was planning on making Serena’s Coconut Ginger Braised Asparagus but then it dawned on me – why not add it to the pasta salad I was bringing over to friend’s house for lunch?

So that’s what I did.

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Roasted Asparagus Caprese Pasta Salad

A spring twist on a classic Italian salad: roasted asparagus meets Caprese salad and pasta. @tspbasil

A spring twist on a classic Italian salad: roasted asparagus meets Caprese salad and pasta.

  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 8 ounces uncooked short pasta – like penne, farfelle or orecchiette
  • 1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed and chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup chopped grape tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, drained and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain (but save about 1/4 cup pasta water.)
  3. While pasta is cooking, toss asparagus, tomatoes, olive oil, black pepper and salt in a large bowl. Spread out on a baking sheet with a lip (or a large baking pan) and roast for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove from oven and add cooked pasta to baking sheet. Mix together. If pasta seems sticky, mix in a few tablespoons of pasta water.
  5. Gently mix in mozzarella and basil.
  6. Place pasta salad in serving bowl. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and serve.

Notes

If you want to make ahead of time or serve it cold, cook asparagus and tomatoes and mix with cooked pasta. Chill in refrigerator and right before serving, mix in mozzarella, basil and balsamic vinegar.

A spring twist on a classic Italian salad: roasted asparagus meets Caprese salad and pasta. @tspbasil

So, I definitely have a thing for caprese salad the second the weather gets warmer. If you love it too, you may enjoy these recipes as well:

Melon Caprese Salad
Melon Caprese Salad | Teaspoonofspice.com @tspbasil
Portable Cherry Caprese Panzanella Salad

Cherry Caprese Panzanella Salad | Teaspoonofspice.com
Grilled Potato Zucchini Caprese Salad
Grilled Potato Zucchini Caprese Salad

What’s your favorite way to eat/cook asparagus?

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