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"A gourmet who thinks of calories is like a tart who looks at her watch." - James Beard


Thursday, August 4, 2016

Pasta Salad with Prosciutto and Melon

I adore melon and prosciutto together.  Especially now when ripe melons are available at the markets. I also love a good pasta salad - cold pasta with vinaigrette and veggies is one of my favourite meals. 

So I decided to combine these loves in a pasta salad with prosciutto and melon. 

I received a Galia melon in my CSA box.  It's a small green melon that tastes similar to honeydew.  This salad would also be great with cantaloupe.  

I used medium shells for the pasta.  Orecchiette would also be great here.  Any short pasta will do but I like the way the shells mimic the shape of the scoops of melon.

I think this is the first time my melon baller has been used for melon!  You could certainly just dice the melon but I like the little half-balls.

For the dressing, I made a quick white wine vinaigrette right in the pasta pot after cooking and draining the pasta. This made it a one-pot meal, but you can make all the components separately if you prefer.  

I mixed the prosciutto into the salad, but it has a tendency to clump together.  I'd advise adding the proscuitto to each individual salad once it's plated so it keeps it's vibrant colour and stays separate.

The result was a wonderful, cool, refreshing, salad that made a great summer dinner.  I ate it for lunch the next day too and it kept surprisingly well.  

Here's the recipe:

For the salad:
500 grams (1 lb) medium pasta shells, orecchiette, penne or pasta of your choice
1 small Galia melon or half a medium cantaloupe or honeydew melon
1 sprig of basil leaves, sliced if large
1 green onion, thinly sliced
125 grams (1/4 lb) thinly sliced prosciutto
125 grams (1/4 lb) diced or crumbled feta or ricotta salata

For the dressing:
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper


  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente.  Drain and rinse under cold water until cool.
  2. Meanwhile, halve the melon, remove the seeds, and use a melon baller to scrape out balls or scoops of melon. Alternatively, peel and dice the melon.
  3. In the empty pasta pot or a large bowl, combine the vinegar and red pepper flakes.  Whisk in oil until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
  4. Add the pasta to the dressing and toss well to combine.  Gently add the melon, basil and green onion.  
  5. Plate the salad in individual servings and top each serving with torn slices of prosciutto and cheese.  Sprinkle generously with black pepper to serve. 

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