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EASY LEMONY ASPARAGUS PASTA SALAD

top down view of wooden bowl with garlic lemon asparagus pasta salad.

5 from 2 reviews

Easy asparagus pasta salad featuring fresh spring asparagus and sun-dried tomatoes tossed with a lemony-garlic vinaigrette is lip smackin delicious and ready in 20 minutes!

Ingredients

Scale
  • 12 oz whole grain pasta (penne, elbow, farfalle, or your favorite)
  • 1 lb. asparagus, tough ends removed and cut into 1 inch length pieces
  • 1/2 cup smoked sun-dried tomatoes, julienned and chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped (optional)

Lemon-Garlic Dressing

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • juice of large 2 – 3 lemons (about 4 – 6 tablespoons)
  • 46 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
  • mineral salt, to taste

Instructions

Pasta & Asparagus: Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add pasta and cook according to package directions. Three (3) minutes before pasta is ready, carefully add cut asparagus and cook together, allowing the asparagus to blanch and brighten in color. Drain and rinse under cool running water, and set aside.

Dressing: In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the dressing until the dijon and oil have emulsified and become creamy.

Assemble: Add the pasta and asparagus back to the pot it was cooked in. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and red onion, and optional parsley, pour the dressing over top and toss well to coat. Add more pepper to taste.

Serve: Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Store: Keep pasta salad in the refrigerator, in an airtight container, for up to 6 days.

Make ahead 1 of 2 ways:

  1. Cook everything as directed, omitting the dressing until ready to serve. Keep the pasta salad in the refrigerator, when ready, whip up the dressing and toss it all together just before serving.
  2. Make the pasta salad as directed, store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. To add moisture when ready to serve, squeeze more lemon over top.

Notes

Use your favorite pasta, gluten free or not. Farfalle, penne, elbow, fusilli, rotini, and gemelli are all great.

In place of sun-dried tomatoes, use cherry or grape tomatoes sliced in half. They’ll add freshness and juiciness to the pasta salad.

Try adding a colored bell peppers for sweetness, or in place of, or in addition to the tomato.

For a mellow onion flavor, diced shallots would be great!

If you have lemon-pepper on hand, that would be fantastic, adding as much as you like.