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Hot Asparagus Pasta Salad

Southeast Washington is a prime growing area for asparagus, and this recipe is one of the best I've tried using this delicious vegetable. Because it has shrimp and ham, this salad is hearty enough to be served as a main dish.
  • Total Time
    Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
  • Makes
    4-6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2-2/3 cups uncooked spiral pasta
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/4 inch slice fresh gingeroot, minced, optional
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pound fresh asparagus, cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 pound uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 pound fully cooked ham, julienned or cubed
  • 1 can (8 ounces) sliced water chestnuts, drained or 1 cup sliced celery
  • 1/3 cup sliced ripe olives
  • DRESSING:
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground mustard

Directions

  • Cook the pasta according to package directions.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute garlic and ginger if desired in oil over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes. Add asparagus, shrimp and water; cook until asparagus is crisp-tender and shrimp are cooked, about 8 minutes.
  • Stir in ham, water chestnuts or celery and olives. Remove from the heat. Drain pasta and place in a large salad bowl; add asparagus mixture. Cover with foil. Combine dressing ingredients; pour over salad and toss. Serve immediately.

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