Giada De Laurentiis' 25-Minute Asparagus Pasta Recipe Has Fans Raving—Here's How to Make It
Little makes it feel more like spring has finally, officially, gleefully arrived more than seeing fresh asparagus popping up in the vegetable garden or at the farmers' market. The green spears are a harbinger of warmer days ahead, and they taste incredible roasted, grilled, air-fried, baked, sautéed or shaved.
While we adore these easy asparagus side dishes and have them on repeat throughout the season, we're always hunting for ways to incorporate this beloved vegetable into our entrees. This week, Giada De Laurentiis resurfaced a fan-favorite recipe from her archives just in time to save the day … ahem, our dinners.
Much like the chef/TV host/cookbook author/mom's creamy Brussels Sprouts and Mushroom Pasta recipe, this Asparagus and Prosciutto Pasta with Smoked Mozzarella is light on prep time and ingredients required. (It takes just 25 minutes, start to finish, and calls for a mere six ingredients!) But that doesn't mean it's not heavy on flavor.
"When asparagus is in season, it has such a great savory and freshly sweet flavor, so I love to add it in just about everything. I love it in the flavor combination of this pasta: the smoky mozzarella and salty prosciutto really bring out the sweetness of the seasonal asparagus," De Laurentiis says. "This would also be just as lovely with green beans or broccolini in place of asparagus, too."
Fans who leave comments like "this has been one of my favorites for years!!!" say you shouldn't change a thing, though.
"This dish turned out so well and I was amazed at the light 'sauce' that coated the noodles after adding some of the pasta water," one five-star reviewer says of the same easy pasta recipe that's shared as part of the archives for her Food Network show, Everyday Italian. "The water helped to kind of melt the mozz and it coated all of the ingredients nicely!"
To make it yourself, in a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook trimmed asparagus until tender (about 3 minutes). Using a slotted spoon, transfer the blanched asparagus to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Once the asparagus is cool enough to handle, drain the water and slice each spear into 1-inch pieces.
Bring the pot of salted water back to a boil, and cook spaghetti or your favorite long-cut pasta to al dente, about 8 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water (one of Giada's top 4 pasta technique tips), then drain the pasta.
In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté minced garlic in olive oil until it's fragrant—20 seconds or so will do it. Add the asparagus to the skillet, season to taste with salt and pepper, then dump in the cooked pasta. Toss this mixture with tongs, and if the dish is looking dry, add a splash or two of the reserved starchy pasta water.
Lastly, cut thinly sliced prosciutto into strips, dice smoked mozzarella cheese into ½-inch cubes and slice fresh basil leaves into ribbons. Sprinkle those three final elements into the skillet. Use tongs to toss that all together to combine it evenly, check for seasonings and adjust as needed, then dive in.
After following these instructions herself, another fan declares, "It is arguably the EASIEST midweek dinner. The flavors are wonderful, it tastes like a lot of work, yet all the prep for it can be done before the water boils for the pasta! A true winner."
De Laurentiis' spring supper just so happens to be fairly high in protein (21 grams) and fiber (5 grams) per serving. Translation: We'll be incorporating this easy pasta recipe into our meal plans weekly all season long. Get De Laurentiis' Asparagus and Prosciutto Pasta with Smoked Mozzarella recipe here, then keep the seasonal deliciousness going with our 19 30-minute dinners for people who love asparagus.