Asparagus Prosciutto Shrimp Pasta

This is recipe is a great way to enjoy the fresh and delicate flavors of asparagus, prosciutto and shrimp. Farfalle (butterflies), also known as bowties, are a fun pasta which works really well here. The different colors, shapes and textures of the asparagus, prosciutto, shrimp, pasta and sauce combine to make Asparagus Prosciutto Shrimp Pasta a very attractive and tasty dish for your table.  Keep the colorful theme going with Sicilian Orange Salad for an appetizer.

You will need to prepare this sauce as the pasta boils to get this dish just right.  Timing is really critical to making this dish come out perfectly.  Pay particular attention to parboiling the asparagus; under cooking will yield hard, chewy pieces and overcooking will produce mushy ones.  Likewise, the initial sautéing of the shrimp must take them to the just-turning opaque stage as they will continue to cook as you finish the sauce; you don’t want rubbery, overcooked shrimp here.  The scant amount of heavy cream may seem too little to create a sauce but it will serve to bind all the other elements together and yield a silky, not runny, finish to Asparagus Prosciutto Shrimp Pasta.

Asparagus Prosciutto Shrimp Pasta

Prep Time: 30 minutes, Total Time: 1 hour. Serves 4.

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  • 1 Tb Shallot, minced
  • ½ lb fresh Asparagus*
  • ½ lb Fresh Shrimp*
  • 3 oz. uncooked Farfalle Pasta per person
  • 2 Tbs Unsalted Butter
  • 1 Tb Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 oz. thinly sliced Prosciutto
  • Splash of dry White Wine
  • 3 Tbs Heavy Cream
  • ½ tsp ground Black Pepper

Asparagus Prosciutto Shrimp Pasta


  1. Mince the shallot and reserve in a small bowl.
  2. Rinse the asparagus, trim and discard the tougher lower parts of stalks and slice into 1-inch long pieces, separating the tips from the stalk sections.
  3. Bring two quarts of well-salted water to a boil.
  4. Parboil the asparagus stalk sections for 3 minutes, then add the asparagus tip sections to the boiling water with the stalk sections and boil for 1 additional minute.
  5. Add ice and cold water to a deep bowl; you will use this ice water bath to cool down the asparagus.
  6. Remove the asparagus sections from the boiling water with a slotted spoon and gently place them into the bowl with ice and cold water to stop the cooking process and keep the color bright green. Once the asparagus has cooled, gently drain the water and any remaining ice from the bowl and set the asparagus aside.
  7. Keep the salted water at a boil, adding additional water, if necessary, to maintain the volume.
  8. Clean, shell and devein the shrimp. It is very important to drain excess liquid from the shrimp to prevent the sauce from getting watered down when cooking. Set the shrimp aside in a bowl.
  9. Cut the prosciutto slices crosswise into thin strips and set aside in a small bowl.
  10. Add the farfalle pasta to the boiling water, stir and cook until al dente.
  11. Combine the butter and olive oil in a large sauté pan over a medium-high heat.
  12. Once the butter has melted, add the shallot and sauté uncovered until the shallots begin to soften.
  13. Add the prosciutto strips to the pan and sauté uncovered until the shallots and prosciutto just begin to brown.
  14. Add a splash of dry white wine to the shallot and prosciutto, stir and cook uncovered to reduce the liquid volume down by half.
  15. Add the shrimp to the pan and sauté uncovered until they just turn opaque; keep the heat high enough to prevent excess water from building up in the sauté pan.
  16. Add the asparagus to the pan, gently stirring all ingredients together and thoroughly warming the asparagus.
  17. Pour the heavy cream into the pan and add the black pepper as well. Mix the ingredients carefully together and cook uncovered for a minute or two until the cream begins to thicken.
  18. Drain the cooked pasta, then add the pasta to the sauté pan. Stir the pasta with the sauce to coat it well and remove from the heat.
  19. Serve immediately in individual pasta bowls. Top the pasta with a light dusting of grated combined Parmesan and Romano cheeses at the table.

Asparagus Prosciutto Shrimp Pasta


  • Select asparagus which are no wider than your little finger for best results.
  • If you can find them, use rock shrimp or Argentine red shrimp for this recipe; they have a sweet taste and texture which is much more like lobster.

One response to “Asparagus Prosciutto Shrimp Pasta”

  1. Donna says:

    Made this for dinner last night. Such a simple recipe and was a huge success. I added 1lb of shrimp and some chicken broth to stretch the coating

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