This week is summer vacation for me. No trips, no cruises, no beaches... just time away from my desk to enjoy my life and my puppies.
My pug Callie isn't exactly one of those brilliant, perfectly-behaved dogs but she handles herself well enough to not get into too much trouble. I took her with me up to my father's house today to lay by the pool, run around the yard and just relax.
Dad and I were enjoying a little basil pesto capris to start off the afternoon and added some poolside cocktails to the mix while Callie and their dog Canaan ran like wild around the yard. Now Callie on most occasions goes with the flow, sniffing and smelling and mingling with other puppies but today was very different than any other day.
We were just floating around the pool talking when I see Callie DART out into meadow after this little fox and Canaan was right behind her. It took us a good 5 minutes to round up the girls and get them to a contained smaller bark. Needless to say it was a hysterical look-back to dad and I flapping around trying to get off our floats and out of the pool to call the girls and see just how far they ran.
I love that puppy though, she is too cute for words.
So I threw this pasta salad together (with a little extra cracked pepper for my heat-tooth) and it was great. Great hot or cold this pasta salad is bursting with flavor and very filling. This can be made up to a day in advance and refrigerated for easy entertaining.
Ham and Asparagus Pasta Salad with Crumbled Goat Cheese
Recipe and photos by A Healthy Jalapeno
1 pound bowtie pasta
1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed and cut in thirds
2 cups cooked ham, cut into small cubes
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or more)
4 tablespoons garlic olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (4-ounce) container crumbled goat cheese
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Add pasta to a large pot of boiling salted water and cook until al dente. Drain in a colander and let cool.
Meanwhile, slice asparagus on the bias into 1/2-inch pieces. Place the asparagus on a sheet tray and drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place in oven and roast for 10 minutes, until slightly tender. Remove and let cool.
In a small bowl, combine shallot, garlic, mustard, lemon zest, lemon juice, and red pepper flakes. Whisk in olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Add pasta, ham and roasted asparagus to a large bowl. Drizzle with dressing and toss.
Add the crumbled goat cheese on top and serve.