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"A man seldom thinks with more earnestness of anything than he does of his dinner."

Samuel Johnson (1709-84), English author, lexicographer.

Farfalle is Italian for butterfly. Sometimes it is referred as bow-tie pasta. The combination of flavors in this pasta dish is simply outstanding. It holds and reheats well.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes    Serving Size: 4

  • 2 pounds fresh asparagus
  • 1/2 pound dry farfalle pasta
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 pound thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into strips
  • 1/2 pound smoked mozzarella, cut into very small cubes
  • 6 tablespoons fresh basil, sliced thin
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Cook asparagus in a large pot of salted boiling water for 2 minutes. Remove to a bowl of ice water to shock the asparagus. Let cool a few minutes then drain and cut the asparagus into 1 inch pieces and set aside.

Return the water to a boil and add enough as necessary to boil the farfalle about 8 minutes. About 6 minutes into the pasta cooking, heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté about 30 seconds. Add asparagus and salt and pepper to taste and stir. Now use a spider or slotted spoon to move the pasta into the garlic and asparagus. Add up to one cup of the pasta water to the pan with the pasta and stir to coat. Add the prosciutto and basil and stir. Remove from the heat and taste for salt and pepper. Now stir in the small smoked mozzarella cubes and stir to allow the cheese to start melting while tossing. If you add the cheese while the pasta mixture is too hot, it will turn stringy (which doesn't affect the overall taste, but throws the texture of the dish off a bit). Cover and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.