It has been a while since I created a dinner recipe on my own, so I had so much fun putting this one together! My inspiration? A link of sopressata and block of aged asiago cheese in my fridge just waiting to be used for something, and a craving for pasta. Plus, my friend Jenny was coming for dinner and I know she loves my pasta dishes.
I have cooked with prosciutto and pancetta before, so I figured I could do the same with sopressata. I knew I'd have to use small pieces, however, as it is on the firm side and would maintain this firmness when cooked. So I pulled out my little handheld mandolin, peeled back the casing, and made very thin slices. Like this -
I then sliced each piece and diced them into very small pieces to be sauteed with the shallots and garlic.
Here is how it all came together -
Pasta with Asparagus, Sopressate and Aged Asiago
Original Recipe by Mary Ellen of Mary Ellen's Cooking Creations
- 1/2 lb penne pasta
- 1/2 link of hot sopresatta (about 3 inch long piece)
- 1 bunch asparagus, top half only
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 shallot
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional for extra heat)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- Pinch or two of Kosher salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Aged Asiago cheese, freshly grated, about 1/2-3/4 cup
- 1/2 c reserved pasta water
- Equipment: mandolin; I used a small handheld mandolin.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil
- Put asparagus into the water and let cook less than a minute. Remove from the water and put in a bowl of ice water, or run under very cold water. Slice diagonally into 1.5 inch pieces.
- Add pasta to the water the asparagus cooked in; cook to al dente.
- Heat olive oil in a large saute pan
- Add shallots, garlic, red pepper flakes, and sopressata. Saute about 3 minutes.
- Add asparagus and pasta, mix. Slowly add a little of the pasta water - I only used about 1/4 cup.
- Add cheese, salt, and pepper
WOW - loved this. We all did! The aged asiago cheese added such great flavor (strong, yet not overpowering), and worked very well with the sopressata. I will definitely make this one again!