Light and fresh, Lemon Asparagus, Grana Padano and Prosciutto di San Daniele Pasta is the perfect Spring/Summer pasta dish. So, just mix everything up in a big bowl and serve to eager dinner guests.
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UK asparagus season officially started a couple of Sundays ago on St George’s Day, so what better way to celebrate than an asparagus packed pasta dish that is bursting with fresh lemon. This dish just screams spring time, and if you are looking for a dish to eat outside on a warm evening like tonight, then this is it!
With pasta being the ultimate comfort food, you would usually associate it with winter, but we think that pasta is an essential spring and summer ingredient and if you are looking for a quick and simple dish to eat outside on a warm spring evening with a glass of wine, then this is it.
Asparagus pasta is a pretty simple and plain dish, but what really makes this asparagus pasta special, and takes it to the next level, is topping it with Prosciutto di San Daniele and Grana Padano. Both are top quality artisan products and have been recognised by the European Union as Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) products.
In order to achieve PDO status, products must respect the strict Production Specifications and it is reserved for products that are produced using distinctive processing techniques from a defined geographical area. For example, Grana Padano cheese is made from milk from the production area in the “Pianura Padana” (Po River valley in Northern Italy) and can be produced only by authorised dairies.
When it comes to the Prosciutto di San Daniele, the same strict regulations are enforced. Only Italian pigs can be used and the whole process takes 13 months minimum duration to ensure it has the best flavour.
With the PDO logo on the packaging, you know that you are getting authentic and high quality products. That’s exactly what you get with both Grana Padano Cheese and Prosciutto di San Daniele. Grana Padano, which is an Italian hard cheese, dates back to the 12th Century. Benedictine monks invented the cheese as a way to preserve surplus milk, and thank goodness they did as it is quickly becoming our favourite cheese.
Because of its strong flavour, a little bit of Grana Padano goes a long way and it really does take a simple pasta dish up a notch. Keep some in your fridge and you can transform almost any meal in an instant.
Lemon Asparagus, Grana Padano and Prosciutto di San Daniele Pasta
- 140 g pasta (whatever shapes you have)
- 4 tbsp fat free fromage frais
- 2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
- 0.25 cup fresh flat parsley, chopped
- 10 asparagus spears, quartered
- 1 lemon (juice only)
- 1 pinch sea salt and black pepper
- 6 slices Prosciutto di San Daniele, halved and rolled in to flower shapes
- 30 g Grana Padano, shavings
- Firstly, put the pasta in a pan of boiling water and simmer for 12 minutes. 4 minutes before the pasta is ready, add the asparagus.
- 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.
- Finally, divide between the bowls and top with Prosciutto di San Daniele and Grana Padano.
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**This Lemon Asparagus, Grana Padano and Prosciutto di San Daniele Pasta recipe was commissioned by Grana Padano Cheese and Prosciutto di San Daniele. All opinions are my own**