A light and fresh pasta dish that is packed with Prosciutto and lemon asparagus. The perfect spring or summer pasta dish and so easy too! Ready in just 20 minutes, you just mix everything up in a big bowl and serve to eager dinner guests.
We love a quick and easy pasta dish and this is exactly that! Pasta coated in a light and fresh creamy sauce and then loaded with asparagus and prosciutto. This looks far more impressive than it actually is, and it's an easy way to wow dinner guests but also easy to make for a week night meal.
Why you will love it
- Quick and easy - This is such an easy pasta dish. The asparagus cooks at the same time as the pasta and once it is cooked and drained, you just mix everything together and serve.
- Light and fresh - Pasta is total comfort food, but it can also be light and fresh. Plenty of lemon and herbs makes this a Spring/Summer friendly pasta dish.
- Adaptable - Use this recipe as a base and then adapt it to suit your own tastes, or what you have that needs using up. We have given options for variations below.
- Pasta - Any pasta goes here! This is a great way to use whatever pasta you have in your cupboard, so whether you have spaghetti or fusilli, it all works.
- Fromage fais - This might seem like a strange addition, but it is really light and it makes the sauce creamy without adding a lot of calories or fat. You could swap it for creme fraiche or even cream if you want it a little more indulgent.
- Mustard - A little bit of wholegrain mustard adds a lot of flavour to this pasta. You could use Dijon mustard, which would add creaminess too.
- Parsley - This lightens up the whole dish and goes really well with the asparagus. You could use fresh chives instead if you prefer.
- Asparagus - This is a great way to give a green vegetable boost to the pasta. You could swap it for tenderstem broccoli though.
- Lemon - An easy way to add some freshness to any pasta dish. To make it really lemony, as lemon juice and zest.
- Prosciutto - We left it as it is and just rolled it in to rose shapes to put on top. But, you could also chop it and fry it up like bacon which is a really nice addition.
- Italian hard cheese - Cheese in creamy pasta is a must. We added some shavings of Grana Padano which adds lots of flavour, and texture.
- Pasta water - This is our "secret" ingredient in every pasta dish and something that every Italian uses in their cooking. Adding a little bit of the starchy pasta water makes the sauce really silky smooth and cling to the pasta. It also loosens the sauce up a little, helping it go further.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
What is Prosciutto?
Prosciutto is a type of very thinly sliced Italian ham that has a lightly sweet flavour to it. It has a melt in your mouth buttery texture, with a slight saltiness. It comes from the hind leg of a pig and Italian prosciuttos are labelled according to their city or province of origin.
Step by step
One: Put the pasta in a pan of boiling water and simmer for 12 minutes. 4 minutes before the pasta is ready, add the asparagus.
Two: Drain the pasta and asparagus and put back in the saucepan with the fromage frais, mustard, parsley (reserve some for serving), lemon juice and zest and salt and pepper.
Three: Divide between the bowls and top with Prosciutto.
Health benefits of asparagus
Although a lot of the flavour of this pasta dish comes from the prosciutto, there is also a generous serving of asparagus in it and that adds lots of nutrients. A member of the lily family, asparagus is a nutrient dense vegetable and definitely one you should be trying to include in your diet more often. It is high in fibre, vitamins A, C, E and K and packed full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
There is evidence that the cultivation of asparagus dates back over 2,000 years to Greece, where they believed in its medicinal properties and that it could be used for curing tooth ache. It has been grown in England since the 16th century.
Pasta - Any pasta goes here. You can use a thin pasta like spaghetti, linguine or tagliatelle, or pasta shapes like penne or fusilli.
Vegetable - Asparagus is the star in this pasta dish when it comes to vegetables, but there are lots of other ways to add vegetables. You can cook tenderstem broccoli and/or peas along with the pasta and stir everything together. You can even wilt some spinach in to the hot pasta. Roasted vegetables also go well in this, but it will add on to the cooking time.
Cheese - We added some Grana Padano, but any Italian hard cheese like Parmesan will work well. You can also crumble some goats cheese on it which adds lots of creaminess. Another delicious way to add cheese is to dry fry some halloumi slices and put it on top.
What to serve with Prosciutto Pasta
Everyone know that garlic bread and pasta are a match made in heaven. Carby heaven! Either buy some ready made, or make your own easy garlic bread by cutting up some French stick and spreading it with a mix of butter, crushed garlic and dried herbs. Then pop it in the oven for 10 minutes. Why not try our Easy Cheesy Garlic Bread!
You could also keep it simple with a big green salad. The key to an epic green salad is to use a variety of greens, like romaine, spinach, kale and rocket. You want leafy greens, but crunch too. Then you need the perfect dressing. Why not try our Lemon Vinaigrette, Honey and Mustard Dressing or Tomato and Basil Vinaigrette. You could also try our Grilled Little Gem Salad.
Frequently Asked Questions
Adding starchy pasta water (just 50ml is enough) helps to make the sauce really silky smooth. Make sure you scoop out the water just before draining, as this ensures that it is nice and starchy.
Yes, you can easily double this recipe and it doesn't change the cooking method.
Prosciutto pasta can be kept in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Yes, it can be frozen in an air tight container for up to 6 weeks.
You can reheat it in the microwave for a minute, or in a frying pan until warmed through. You may need to add a splash of water to loosen it up a little.
• Always grate cheese yourself, as ready shaved or grated cheese in a bag tends to have a coating on it which makes is taste a bit odd and it doesn't melt so well either.
• You can add some peas to the pasta when cooking for an extra green vegetable boost.
• To add some extra protein to this, you can stir in some cooked chickpeas or butter beans.
• If you like a kick of heat to you meals, then sprinkle some red chilli flakes on top.
More pasta recipes
If you’ve tried this prosciutto pasta recipe, then let us know how you got on in the comments below.
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Lemon Asparagus and Prosciutto Pasta
- 140 g (5 oz) Pasta - (whatever shapes you have)
- 4 tablespoon Fat free fromage frais
- 2 tablespoon Wholegrain mustard
- 15 g (0.25 cups) Fresh parsley - chopped
- 10 Asparagus spears - quartered
- 1 Lemon - (juice only)
- 1 pinch Sea salt and black pepper
- 6 slices Prosciutto - halved and rolled in to flower shapes
- 30 g (0.33 cups) Grana Padano - or any Italian Hard Cheese; shavings
- Put 140 g Pasta in a pan of boiling water and simmer for 12 minutes. 4 minutes before the pasta is ready, add 10 Asparagus spears.
- Drain the pasta and asparagus and put back in the saucepan with 4 tablespoon Fat free fromage frais, 2 tablespoon Wholegrain mustard, 15 g Fresh parsley (reserve some for serving), 1 Lemon (juice and zest only) and 1 pinch Sea salt and black pepper.
- Divide between the bowls and top with 6 slices Prosciutto and 30 g Grana Padano.
- Always grate cheese yourself, as ready shaved or grated cheese in a bag tends to have a coating on it which makes is taste a bit odd and it doesn't melt so well either.
- You can add some peas to the pasta when cooking for an extra green vegetable boost.
- To add some extra protein to this, you can stir in some cooked chickpeas or butterbeans.
- If you like a kick of heat to you meals, then sprinkle some red chilli flakes on top.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.