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 roasted the asparagus with the tomato and salami; the asparagus are cut in half, lengthwise. This shorten their roasting time. The salami slices keep the asparagus nicely greased during the roasting and add some flavor. Most if not all salami have spices and garlic and that is a nice additional flavor. Any type of salami will do. The salami can be cut in cubes, I prefer the slices; a little easier to chew.
Roasting add 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 advise, 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 is great for mixing the 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.