This upscale pasta salad would make a perfect lunch or side dish. You can serve this immediately or cover and chill for 2 hours before serving for a cold dish.
2 cups uncooked penne pasta
12 asparagus spears
12 cherry tomatoes
4 Tbsp olive oil, divided
salt and pepper, to taste
1 Tbsp minced shallots
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp dried herbes de Provence
1 1/2 tsp honey
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved
2 cups baby arugula
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
3. Place asparagus and tomatoes on a jelly-roll pan. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss gently to coat and arrange in a single layer on the pan. Bake at 400 degrees F for 6 minutes or until asparagus is crisp-tender. Remove asparagus from pan. Place pan back in oven and bake tomatoes an additional 4 minutes. Remove tomatoes from pan – let stand 10 minutes. Cut asparagus into 1-inch lengths and halve tomatoes.
4. Combine shallots, lemon juice, mustard, herbes, and honey in a small bowl. Stir well with a whisk. Gradually add remaining 3 Tbsp oil, stirring constantly with a whisk. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
5. Place pasta, asparagus, tomato, olives, and arugula in a large bowl – toss. Drizzle juice mixture over pasta and toss well to coat. Sprinkle with cheese and serve.
Yield: 4 servings (408 calories, 22.3 g total fat, 5.5 g saturated fat, 11.3 g protein, 42.9 g carbohydrate, 3.5 g fiber, 11 mg cholesterol)
Cooking Light, May 2011