Spring has finally arrived and the flowers are in bloom! This is the perfect time of year to enjoy dinner outdoors, and pasta salad is the perfect accompaniment. This light pasta salad features Wisconsin asiago cheese. It’s mild, nutty flavor pairs wonderfully with seasonal asparagus.
Extra virgin olive oil replaces the mayonnaise that often weighs down traditional salad, while lemon brightens up the other flavors. This salad will pair especially well with chicken dishes, but can also be enjoyed as a main course if served warm.
By: Jennifer, Savory Simple
1 pound (16 ounces) uncooked bow tie pasta
1 pound (16 ounces) fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
3 tablespoons lemon juice (about 2 medium lemons)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 cup (3 ounces) grated Wisconsin asiago cheese
Kosher salt, ground black pepper and Wisconsin asiago cheese to taste
Cook pasta until al dente according to package directions; drain reserving 1 cup of pasta water. Meanwhile, place asparagus in a steamer basket. Place basket in a saucepan over 1 inch of water; bring to a boil. Cover and steam for approximately 5 to 8 minutes or until crisp-tender. Remove and keep warm.
Whisk the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
Transfer the pasta and asparagus to a large serving bowl. Drizzle with lemon juice mixture. Sprinkle with asiago cheese. Lightly toss; add pasta water a ¼ cup at a time until desired consistency. Sprinkle with additional salt, pepper and asiago cheese as desired. Serve warm or at room temperature.