This is a take-anywhere salad that can be served either on
its own or as a side. The roasted almonds add crunch and the lemony dressing is ideal with the asparagus – you could also substitute blanched beans.
- 400-500g pasta (penne, spirals, etc)
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 clove garlic, finely sliced
- 4-6 smoky rindless bacon rashers, finely sliced
- 2 bunches fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 lemon, juice and zest
- Sea salt and cracked pepper
- Fresh baby basil leaves
- ½ cup roasted almonds, chopped
- Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling water until al dente; drain and refresh under water.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan. Sauté the garlic and add the bacon strips. Fry until crispy and golden, then set aside.
- Blanch the asparagus in boiling water for 1-2 minutes, then drain and refresh under cold water.
- Whisk the mayonnaise with the mustard, lemon juice and half the zest. Season well.
- Toss the pasta with ¾ of the bacon (reserve some for garnish), asparagus and dressing. Arrange on a serving platter and top with the remaining bacon, lemon zest, basil leaves and almonds.
About Jo Wilcox
"I have had a love of food my whole life. Lucky for me my mum allowed me to play in the kitchen from the very beginning – from sitting up on the bench watch her peeling peaches for preserving or planning dinner parties from her many Womans Weekly Cookbooks. Starting in my local beach café, I went onto professional cookery training and my big foodie OE working as a professional chef and nanny. At 21 I launched my first restaurant. The following years saw me owning a gourmet cake and dessert shop and then a pasta deli before I discovered the world of food styling. Today I work in food styling making food look beautiful and tasty in packaging and advertising shoots, as well as my most important role yet – Food Editor of New Zealand Woman’s Weekly. I aim to provide great meal solutions that are interesting and approachable, and of course gorgeous foodie photos that make you want to cook them! I love the feedback and the knowledge that people actually cook them and have great results. If I can give someone a love of cooking and enjoying family meal times and gatherings then my job is done!" See www.jowilcox.co.nzmore of this author