Tik Tok’s 5-Ingredient Asparagus Pasta Greatly Improved.
The best asparagus of the year paired with a spicy, garlicky sauce tossed in pasta. Then we crowned it with salty, crispy Prosciutto. It’s an amazing meal in minutes! And it all started out with a post on Tik Tok. 2 million people have viewed Kristen Faith’s (@kristenfaith_eats) recipe. Frankly, she had me at pasta. I don’t care whether it’s orzo or rigatoni or massive Calamarata noodles, I will inevitably love it. Even if it turns Kristen used 12 ingredients! And after I’d made it Kristen’s way I added a 13th. My addition, prosciutto, gives this dish an extra layer of flavor and crispy texture that makes it irresistible.
Asparagus Season is finally here.
I was in Ecuador when Andrew last headed out to Bridgehampton. So from 3000 miles away I begged Andrew to bring home the first asparagus of the season from the nearest farmstand. Asparagus is astonishingly healthy. Low in calories, it is packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. You can read all about just how healthy it is here…https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/asparagus-benefits. But to me, it’s the harbinger of spring. Even though it’s now a year-round fixture in the supermarket, nothing comes close to its flavor when it comes from one of our Hamptons farms. It turns out that asparagus thrives in saline soil. And when the fog rolls in off the Atlantic and covers our farm fields, it creates a perfect place to grow asparagus.
Asparagus has been eaten for at least 5000 years.
Pictured on an Egyptian frieze dating to 3000 BC, Asparagus first gained popularity for its diuretic properties and because it was believed to be an aphrodisiac. Greeks and Romans ate it fresh in season and even dried it to eat in winter. Roman Emperor Augustus coined the expression ‘faster than cooking asparagus’ to be used when describing ‘quick action’. A recipe for how to cook it appeared in Apicius’s oldest surviving collection of recipes. European settlers brought the vegetable to North America as early as 1655. A Dutch immigrant, Adriaen van der Donck, mentions Asparagus in his description of Dutch farming practices in the New World. And British immigrants grew it too. It is mentioned in William Penn’s advertisements for Pennsylvania in 1685. It was listed in a long list of crops that grew well in America’s climate.
Tips on Making Today’s Recipe for Crispy Prosciutto and Spring Asparagus Pasta.
The original recipe called for Calamarata noodles. Instead, I used Trader Joe’s latest imported pasta, Organic Trofie Pasta. Whatever pasta you choose, it should be cooked first. While it cooks, prep the asparagus by cutting it into 1 ½ inch pieces. Chop the garlic, shred the Parmigiano, and slice the lemon in half. Then cook the prosciutto leaving whatever fat it gives off in the skillet. Save the pasta water when you drain the pasta. Follow today’s recipe and voilà!
Here’s today’s recipe and after it, some other Asparagus favorites.
Pasta with Crispy Prosciutto and Spring Asparagus
Asparagus in a spicy, garlicky sauce tossed with Pasta and topped with Crispy Prosciutto
- 16 oz. of Pasta of your choice: Trofie, Penne, Calamarata or Rigatoni
- Reserved Pasta Water
- 4 oz. Sliced Prosciutto
- 5 oz. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided.
- 4 tbsp. Unsalted Butter
- 1 lb. Spring Asparagus cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 cup Grated Reggio Parmigiano Cheese
- 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes (or to taste)
- 1 Lemon, halved.
- Lemon Zest
- Black Pepper to taste
- Sea Salt to taste
- Step 1 Place your pasta in a pot of hot water and cook according to the packaging. Once complete, run tepid water over the noodles to stop the cooking process.
- Step 2 While your pasta is cooking, rinse and chop your asparagus into bite-size pieces and place to the side in a small bowl. With a cheese grater, shred Parmesan cheese and set aside for later use.
- Step 3 Chop garlic and slice the lemon in half. Set aside.
- Step 4 Heat a medium-size non-stick pan over medium-high heat, adding a tablespoon of olive oil. Add prosciutto and cook until crispy. Remove from pan.
- Step 5 Add butter to the pan together. Once the butter has melted, add the minced garlic, salt, red pepper flakes, asparagus, fresh-squeezed lemon juice from half the lemon, and a little black pepper to taste.
- Step 6 Add in your noodles, a little lemon zest atop your pasta, and some of your freshly grated cheese. Mix together for an additional two minutes before serving. Use warm pasta water to create a sauce.
- Step 7 Add the crispy prosciutto at the last minute. Toss and serve at once, topped with additional Parmigiano.