NZ Woman's Weekly

Crispy bacon and asparagus pasta salad

  • Meal Type

  • Servings

  • Courses


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
  1. Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling water until al dente; drain and refresh under water.
  2. Heat the oil in a frying pan. Sauté the garlic and add the bacon strips. Fry until crispy and golden, then set aside.
  3. Blanch the asparagus in boiling water for 1-2 minutes, then drain and refresh under cold water.
  4. Whisk the mayonnaise with the mustard, lemon juice and half the zest. Season well.
  5. 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.

MORE: Tomato, mustard and thyme tart recipe

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

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Issue 1541

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