Roasted Asparagus with Ham and Penne Rigate

Roasted Asparagus with Ham and Penne Rigate
It's hard not to think of asparagus in spring, especially when other food bloggers are posting yummy photos and recipes. Like this. And this.

I love roasted asparagus. I fell hard for it about 7 years ago, when I ate copious amounts of this warm salad adapted from Kalyn's Kitchen.

When paired with ham, asparagus is the very essence of spring. Not everyone feels this way, as I learned at my first after-college job, when I ordered an asparagus-ham dish with hollandaise sauce for a large lunch group. I was dismayed when I received complaints. But that was more than 25 years ago, and I am hopeful they've acquired more seasonal and sophisticated sensibilities in the intervening years.

Because the marriage of asparagus and ham is a rite of spring.

Last night I made a quick one-dish meal that was very simple yet satisfying.

Roasted Asparagus with Ham and Penne Rigate
  • 1 cup asparagus, cut into inch-long pieces
  • 4 small red and orange sweet peppers, cut into inch-long pieces
  • 1 medium shallot
  • generous dash sea salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup penne rigate
  • 1/2 cup chopped or slice ham
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Wash and asparagus and peppers into one-inch long pieces. Drizzle with 1/2 of the olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place in a single layer on a baking tray or a shallow baking dish. Allow to roast for 10-15 minutes until the vegetables soften and turn brown.

While vegetables are roasting, slice shallot lengthwise into pieces of a similar length. Sauté with remainder of olive oil in a small frying pan. (You could also add the shallots to the pepper-asparagus mix and roast them in the oven.)

Prepare pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Cut ham into slices or chunks.

When vegetables are roasted, arrange all items on plate. Sprinkle with cheese. Makes two small servings or one large serving.

Garlicky croutons or roasted almonds would be a great topping. I did not use any dressing, but if I had, I would have gone with a fruity balsamic vinegar with oil.


Penny said…
I have been craving both ham and asparagus lately. Must be a natural springtime phenomenon. Your dish looks wonderful.
~~louise~~ said…
What a bad, bad girl I am, Mimi, lol...I was here yesterday, pinned this recipe, meant to come back to tell you how awesome it looked and I got side tracked!

I should probably mention that Spril is National Asparagus Month and I can't think of a better way of celebrating! Thanks for sharing, Mimi...
M.D. Johns said…
Penny, I am glad I am not alone in my cravings. I'm going to get back in the kitchen later today as my temp job is completed.

Louise, thanks for the heads up. I will do a few more asparagus things this month. Right now, I am housebound because it's so icy outside. Thanks for stopping!

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