Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Prosciutto and Melon Pasta Salad

We've been lucky enough to travel to Italy on two vacations. Dining was often outdoors at a slow pace that feels quite opposite to us Americans used to only spending about an hour at restaurants. Prosciutto and melon was our go to appetizer in Rome and Venice. Eating this pasta salad took me back to many happy memories of those vacations. I was finally able to find a local deli with good prosciutto which helped to make all the difference. This recipe came from an idea I tagged in a Cooking Light magazine, and I added it to our weekly menu after it was posted on Prevention RD. We enjoyed this for dinner as an entree. It would also make a great side dish.

You will need:
* about 7 oz (2 cups dry) whole wheat pasta
*1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
*2 tablespoons olive oil
*1/8 teaspoon salt, and a pinch for pasta water
*1/8 teaspoon black pepper
*2 cups cantaloupe, cubed
*3 ounces prosciutto, ripped into pieces
*4-6 large basil leaves, cut into thin strips
*2 ounces Asiago cheese, finely grated

1. Boil 2 quarts of water in a large pot. Once boiling, add a pinch of salt and the pasta. Cook your pasta according to the box directions. You want it to be al dente. Drain the cooked pasta and briefly rinse under cool water to bring the pasta to room temperature.

2. While the pasta is cooking, squeeze the lemon juice into a medium bowl.Whisk in the olive oil; season with the salt and pepper.

3. Toss the pasta with the dressing mix. Gently stir in the cantaloupe, prosciutto, basil, and Asiago. Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.

We enjoyed leftovers for lunch the next day. This pasta salad is best when served immediately. I'd recommend making it the same day you will enjoy most of it.

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