Crispy Prosciutto & Lemon-Pesto Pasta with Asparagus & Parmesan

Crispy Prosciutto & Lemon-Pesto Pasta

with Asparagus & Parmesan

25 MIN
2 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

This easy pasta gets its verdant color two ways: we’re stirring in tender asparagus (sautéed with red pepper flakes for a lightly spicy kick), then bringing it all together with our herbaceous basil pesto (plus some tangy lemon juice and crème fraîche). A topping of crispy prosciutto adds textural contrast and delightfully salty flavor.
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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    690 Cals (est.)
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fresh
ingredients
Crispy Prosciutto & Lemon-Pesto Pasta with Asparagus & Parmesan
Title
  • 3 oz Prosciutto
  • 6 oz Cavatappi Pasta
  • 6 oz Asparagus
  • 1 Lemon
  • ⅓ cup Basil Pesto
  • ¼ cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 Tbsps Crème Fraîche
  • ¼ tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
Prepare the ingredients
1 Prepare the ingredients

Fill a medium pot 3/4 of the way up with salted water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Snap off and discard the tough, woody stem ends of the asparagus; cut into 1-inch pieces (keeping the pointed tips intact). Halve the lemon crosswise; squeeze the juice into a bowl, straining out the seeds. Stack the prosciutto (removing the plastic lining between the slices), then thinly slice crosswise.

Cook the pasta
2 Cook the pasta

Add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Turn off the heat. Reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly.

Crisp the prosciutto
3 Crisp the prosciutto

Meanwhile, in a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the sliced prosciutto. Cook, stirring frequently and breaking apart any clumps, 4 to 5 minutes, or until crispy. Leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.

Cook the asparagus
4 Cook the asparagus

In the pan of reserved fond, heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the asparagus pieces and as much of the red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes, or until lightly browned and softened.

Finish the pasta & serve your dish
5 Finish the pasta & serve your dish

To the pan, add the cooked pasta and half the reserved pasta cooking water (carefully, as the liquid may splatter). Cook, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes, or until combined. Turn off the heat. Stir in the pesto, crème fraîche, and lemon juice until combined and the pasta is coated (if necessary, gradually add the remaining cooking water to ensure the pasta is thoroughly coated). Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the finished pasta topped with the crispy prosciutto and parmesan. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

Prepare the ingredients
1 Prepare the ingredients

Fill a medium pot 3/4 of the way up with salted water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Snap off and discard the tough, woody stem ends of the asparagus; cut into 1-inch pieces (keeping the pointed tips intact). Halve the lemon crosswise; squeeze the juice into a bowl, straining out the seeds. Stack the prosciutto (removing the plastic lining between the slices), then thinly slice crosswise.

2 Cook the pasta

Add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Turn off the heat. Reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly.

Cook the pasta
Crisp the prosciutto
3 Crisp the prosciutto

Meanwhile, in a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the sliced prosciutto. Cook, stirring frequently and breaking apart any clumps, 4 to 5 minutes, or until crispy. Leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.

4 Cook the asparagus

In the pan of reserved fond, heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the asparagus pieces and as much of the red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes, or until lightly browned and softened.

Cook the asparagus
Finish the pasta & serve your dish
5 Finish the pasta & serve your dish

To the pan, add the cooked pasta and half the reserved pasta cooking water (carefully, as the liquid may splatter). Cook, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes, or until combined. Turn off the heat. Stir in the pesto, crème fraîche, and lemon juice until combined and the pasta is coated (if necessary, gradually add the remaining cooking water to ensure the pasta is thoroughly coated). Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the finished pasta topped with the crispy prosciutto and parmesan. Enjoy!

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