'Get Fresh' asparagus pasta salad recipe with fresh mushroom
STEPS 7 INGREDIENTS 7 TIME 35 MINS
This wholesome asparagus pasta salad recipe is a real farmers’ market special. I made it the first time using super-fresh ingredients bought at our local market, and as a result I can’t imagine insulting this delectable dish by creating it with flavorless store-bought veggies.
A cinch to prep and make, it packs in pleasingly green asparagus ‘heads’, sumptuous soft mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes (for a bit of acidic bite), all mixed through with perfectly-cooked penne to bring you a super-nourishing bowl of pasta pleasure.
So - sorry to labor the point but it’s worth repeating - if you can then try to use fresh ingredients for this dish.
This is a great general rule of course, but particularly relevant here as you really can’t beat the noisy crunch of asparagus, nor the accompanying taste of real fresh, earthy mushrooms like chanterelle or porcini... (any type in fact that’s the polar opposite of nasty store-bought ‘button’ shrooms!).
Mini-rant over, mangiamo (let’s eat)!
Ingredients: (For a printable PDF shopping list click here, or right-click this link and choose 'Save target/link as' to save it for later.)
4 sun-dried tomatoes
100g/3.5oz fresh mushrooms (chanterelle/porcini/mixed)
6 fresh asparagus stalks with heads
200g/7oz penne/pennette pasta
1 garlic clove
Extra virgin olive oil
Optional: handful of flat-leaf parsley
Small shallow frying pan
2nd (large) frying pan
STEP 1 - 5-10 mins of preparation first:
- Chop off the mushroom stems. Brush off dirt with a cloth or kitchen paper (or rinse in lukewarm water and dry).
- Flex asparagus stems to find their weak points and snap them there. Trash the lower sections (those without the 'heads').
- Slice the sun-dried toms.
STEP 2 - Place asparagus in a small shallow pan. Cover with cold water and add a good pinch of salt.
- Bring this water to boil on a medium hob and fry asparagus in this water until stems soften enough to slip a knife easily through the thickest part (allow 5-7 mins)
- When done, take pan off heat and remove asparagus.
STEP 3 - In a second large frying pan, cover half its base with oil and add optional (rinsed) parsley leaves.
- Drop in peeled garlic clove and heat on medium hob until garlic starts to brown (5-7 mins).
STEP 4 - When garlic has started to brown, add mushrooms and pinch of salt.
- Fry on good heat hob until mushrooms cook and wilt to almost half size (5-6 mins). Stir regularly.
STEP 5 - While mushrooms fry, boil up large pasta pan of water, including handful of salt.
- When boiling, add pasta and cook as per packet’s timings.
- Remember to take mushrooms off heat when softened and wilted.
STEP 6 - While pasta cooks, chop asparagus lengths into 1-inch/2cm chunks. Throw these and sliced toms into the cooling mushroom pan and mix through.
STEP 7 - When pasta is cooked, drain and mix with rest of ingredients in large frying pan. Add a final small glug of olive oil too.
To serve: leave to cool for 10 minutes before serving in salad bowls. Using parsley? Garnish with a few extra leaves on top.
Enjoyed this asparagus pasta salad recipe? Try these next…
• Caprese-style summer pasta salad
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