Smoky mozzarella, crisp fresh asparagus, and the rich saltiness of the prosciutto make this super simple weeknight pasta a real winner. By the time the pot of water is boiling, you’re already halfway to mealtime.
Ziti with Asparagus, Smoked Mozzarella, and Prosciutto
Credit: Everyday Italian by Giada De Laurentiis
8 ounces dried ziti
1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
3 ounces smoked mozzarella cheese, diced (about 1/2 cup)
3 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, cut crosswise into strips
3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil
~Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the ziti and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the asparagus and cook until the pasta is tender but still firm to the bite, and the asparagus is crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Drain the pasta and asparagus, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.
~In a large, heavy skillet, heat the oil over a medium flame. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add the pasta, asparagus, 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper, and the 1 cup of reserved cooking liquid, and toss to coat. Remove the skillet from the heat. Add the mozzarella, prosciutto, and basil and toss to combine. Season with more salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the pasta to shallow bowls and serve.