A spring twist on a classic Italian salad: roasted asparagus meets Caprese salad and pasta.
- 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
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain (but save about 1/4 cup pasta water.)
- 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.
- Remove from oven and add cooked pasta to baking sheet. Mix together. If pasta seems sticky, mix in a few tablespoons of pasta water.
- Gently mix in mozzarella and basil.
- Place pasta salad in serving bowl. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and serve.
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.