Meals during hot summers should be easy, quick, flavorful and still satisfying and full of variety. This Pasta Salad with Asparagus Spinach and Salami hits all these points. Roasted asparagus, tomatoes and salami, thick tubular pasta, spinach and toasted pine nuts make a delicious, colorful and textured lunch or dinner dish.
For this salad I used Pacchero pasta, a short tube of relatively thick pasta that is chewy, especially when cooked al dente. It adds some ‘meat’ to the dish, some bite, a little bit of substance. My choice of vegetables for this salad is asparagus, tomato and spinach. The asparagus and tomato are roasted in the oven, the spinach just washed and dried.
I cut the asparagus in half, lengthwise, roasted them with the tomato and salami. This shorten their roasting time. The salami slices keep the asparagus nicely greased during the roasting, while adding flavor. Any type of salami will do. You can cut the salami in cubes; I prefer the slices; a little easier to chew.
Roasting adds depth of flavor and so does the salami; a dressing is not really necessary. The combination of the vegetables, meat, pasta and pine nuts is great in variety of texture; great in variety of flavor. My only advice, regarding dressing, would be, to add some olive oil mixed with finely copped basil and salt and pepper and you’re done.
The small pieces of the vegetable pieces find their way into the wide and short pasta tubes and that’s an alternative way to mixing flavors and texture. I am very happy with this salad. I think it looks nice and colorful, the flavor is delicious and it is a great as a lunch or dinner dish.
Pasta Salad with Asparagus Spinach and Salami
- 1 pound asparagus
- 4 ounces tomato
- 4 ounces salami
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 ounces pasta
- 3 ounces spinach
- 1 ounce pine nuts
- 4 sprigs basil
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Wash asparagus and pat dry. Trim off the tough, thick end part of each stalk. Cut each asparagus in half. lengthwise and spread asparagus out on a baking sheet.
- Wash to tomatoes and cut them in half and spread on baking sheet.
- Cut the tip off the salami, score the salami lengthwise, and tear off the peel. Slice the salami thinly. Divide the salami slices over the baking sheet.
- Drizzle with some olive oil and roast in the oven for approx. 10 minutes
- In the meantime cook the pasta according to the direction on the package. Drain and allow to cool.
- Wash and dry the spinach.
- When the asparagus are done, transfer them together with the tomatoes and salami to a bowl and spread the pine nuts on the baking dish. Bake them approx. 10 minutes in the oven.
- Chop the basil fine and mix with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper.
- When vegetables, salami and pasta are cooled down to desired temperature, mix with spinach, dressing and pine nuts.