To make this more substantial, add diced grilled chicken, sauteed portobello mushrooms, chopped sun-dried tomatoes, or pitted black olives. The asparagus spears are cooked in the same water with the bow-ties.
|1||pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved|
|1||bunch scallions, thinly sliced|
|1/4||cup chopped fresh mint|
|1/4||cup olive oil|
|1||tablespoon balsamic vinegar|
|1||teaspoon salt, and more for the pasta water|
|1||pound bow-tie pasta|
|1||pound asparagus, ends snapped off, stalks peeled if thick, and cut in 2-inch pieces|
|1/2||pound imported feta, crumbled (to make 1 1/2 cups)|
2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook, stirring, for 8 minutes (or 2 minutes less than the suggested time on the package).
3. Without draining the pasta, add the asparagus and continue cooking for 2 minutes or until the spears and the pasta are tender, but not mushy. Tip the mixture into a colander, run it under cold water for a moment, shaking the colander, until the pasta and asparagus cool a bit. Shake the colander to remove the excess moisture.
4. Add the pasta and asparagus mixture with the feta to the tomato mixture. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of mint and toss well. Before serving, let the salad sit for 15 minutes for the flavors to meld. Or refrigerate for up to 2 hours. Tony Rosenfeld