Spinach-Ricotta Pesto Pasta with Crisp Prosciutto and Asparagus

Total Time:
14 min
Prep:
4 min
Cook:
10 min

Yield:
6 servings
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
  • 1 pound orecchiette or penne pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 ounces prosciutto, cut into 2-inch strips
  • 12 ounces asparagus, trimmed and sliced thinly on bias (about 2 cups)
  • 3/4 cup Spinach-Ricotta Dip, recipe follows
  • Spinach-Ricotta Dip:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen spinach, thawed
  • 1/2 cup fresh ricotta
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Directions

Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil over high heat. When it boils, add pasta and cook as indicated on box.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. When it shimmers, add prosciutto and cook, stirring occasionally, until prosciutto is crisp, about 5 minutes. Add asparagus and toss to coat evenly. Let cook until asparagus just starts to get browned on the edges, about 3 minutes.

Remove 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. Add a few tablespoons of the water to the asparagus mixture, stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to incorporate browned bits, and remove from heat. Drain pasta and return to pot (off heat), add remaining reserved pasta cooking water, asparagus, Spinach-Ricotta Dip, and stir until thoroughly coated. Taste and adjust seasoning, as desired. Serve immediately.

Spinach-Ricotta Dip:

In a large frying pan, heat oil over medium heat. When oil shimmers, add pine nuts and cook until they make a popping noise and start to brown, about 1 minute. Stir in garlic and onion and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is golden brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer onion mixture to a food processor fitted with a blade, add in remaining ingredients, and process until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning, as necessary.

Yield: 2 cups


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    This recipe is featured in:

    Wine 101