Loretta Sebastiani

Loretta Sebastiani
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Pasta salad with speck and asparagus
( Insalata di pasta con speck e asparagi )

Our original home cooking

Pasta salad (insalata di pasta) with asparagus and speck is a tasty cold dish you can serve in summer in your daily or special menu or in a meal, buffet-style all year. If you want to use asparagus in season (May and June) you have to prepare it only in spring but I remember you there are good-quality frozen asparagus too. Pair white wine from Friuli or Sicily as described below.

difficulty: easy

time: 60 minutes

calories: 450 (kCal)

Ingredients / Serves 3

  • 200g (7 ounces) short pasta
  • 500g (1.1 pound) fresh asparagus
  • 70g (2 1/2 ounces) speck in a slice
  • 8 quail eggs
  • 30g (1 ounce) fresh young onion, chopped
  • Some basil leaves, cut by hands
  • Little bunch chives, chopped
  • 1 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprig, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Vegetable stock
  • Salt
easy recipe
preparation: 30 minutes
cooking: 40 minutes
total: 60 minutes
How many calories in a serving?
Calories: 450 (kcal) 23 % - 1881 (kJ)
Protein: 19.8 (g) 40 % GDA
Total fat: 16.7 (g) 24 % GDA
Total carbohydrate: 58.5 (g) 22 % GDA
Sugars: 8.5 (g) 10 % GDA

Download free PDF version (185 download).

Recipe for pasta salad with speck and asparagus

Preparation and cooking

  • - Clean and cook the fresh asparagus you've bought.
    You have to read these directions only if you've decided to use fresh asparagus
    The bottom stem of the asparagus spread is tough and you have to discard it and use only the upper part.
    If it is too thick I suggest you to peel it too for the best result.
    Then wash them accurately beneath cold running water.
    Finally slice asparagus tips and put them apart.
    Slice remaining parts of the asparagus stems.
    The following step is to cook them.
    Put 2 teaspoons olive oil in a pan, add onions and fry lightly on low heat.
    Add your asparagus pieces, let them flavor, stirring, for few minutes.
    Then cover with hot stock (you can also use only water) and continue cooking on low heat, stirring now and then, 10 to 15 minutes (ten minutes if you like asparagus crunchy).
    Let cooking juice reduce very well.
    Add asparagus tips and all aromatic herbs a couple of minutes before turning off the stove.
  • - Cook quail eggs.
    Put quail eggs in a little pan and cover with cold water.
    Bring to the boil: boil them, 4 minutes.
    Plug them into very cold water as soon as they are cooked; this helps loosen their shell.
    Crack every egg around its center and, gently, roll it on a work surface until the eggshell is cracked all around its center. Peel the eggshell away from the white.
    Wash them under cold running water and dry gently before using if there are some shell pieces left.
    Separate whites from yolks.
  • - Prepare pasta sauce.
    Put all yolks in a large bowl and mash them with a fork.
    Cut your white eggs into little pieces and add to the bowl.
    Transfer your asparagus sauce too.
    Cut speck into thin strips and add to the bowl.
    Add the remaining olive oil and season to taste with salt, stir with delicacy.
    Your sauce is ready!
  • - Cook pasta.
    Cook the pasta you've chosen al dente stage.
    Drain your pasta and run under cold water in order to stop cooking, drain again.
  • - The last step.
    Transfer your pasta into the bowl and stir accurately and with delicacy.
    Season to taste with salt only if necessary.
    Your dish is ready!

Just before serving

  • - Let your pasta salad rest for an hour before serving for the best taste.



  • - Choose always good-quality pasta and the shape of short pasta you prefer to make this pasta salad.
  • - If you make this pasta salad some hours ahead, in the morning for the evening, chill it but remember to bring it back to room temperature before serving.
  • - You can also use frozen asparagus (450g - 1 pound). In this way you can make asparagus-and-speck pasta salad all year even when you can find no fresh asparagus.
  • - Now the question is: why quail eggs and not hen eggs? Quail eggs have an advantage. It takes five of them to have the nutrition of a hen's egg, and this is very important when you want to contain calories and fat within normal limits.
  • - If you have little time substitute fresh aromatic herbs with dried ones.

Menu planning

  • - You can make this asparagus-and-speck pasta salad in summer for your family and all year if you have to plan a meal, buffet-style for a great occasion.

Useful links for this recipe

Healthy eating

  • - If you decide to prepare this cold pasta recipe for your family read carefully the following note.
    Read the amount of calories, fat and protein and the combination of its ingredients. It can be only one-plate meal. Protein are included in the pasta dish and you needn't a second course. Complete your meal with fresh seasonal fruit.
    Here are the doses per head: 60 to 70g (2.1 to 2 1/2 ounces) pasta, 150 to 200g (5 1/3 to 7 ounces) fresh asparagus, 2 to 3 quail eggs, 20 to 25g ( 3/4 to 1 ounce), aromatic herbs and onions with no limit and less than 2 teaspoons olive oil.
  • - As you can see it's a tomato-free recipe, ideal for people intolerant or alergic to tomatoes.
  • - I remember you all the recipes of mine in this website can be made without salt; there is a combination of flavors that substitutes salt. But it is very important to follow ingredients and doses closely and to use aromatic herbs ;)
    Get in the habit of keeping basil, parsley, sage ... in pots.


What's the right wine for " Pasta salad with speck and asparagus "?

Our suggestion is: Alcamo bianco (white wine of Sicily - Italy) or Collio Pinot Grigio (white wine of Friuli - Italy)