This salad is amazing and out of this world. I can’t decide if my favourite part is the avocado Cesar dressing that doesn’t need mayonnaise, the golden pancetta, the asparagus or the corn :). The mix of flavours is incredible and no one can really complain about a Cesar dressing because it’s the best! I need to nom on this salad nonstop.
For this salad, I used frozen corn kernels and asparagus but of course, you can sub for fresh as well. If you want to add more ingredients to the salad you can go for crispy croutons, shaved almonds, lettuce, chicken or another vegetable you like. If you want to see my spin on a Cesar salad you can find it in my ebook “Recipes in an Hour or Less.”
You can use regular four pasta or go for wholewheat pasta instead. What’s important is that you choose a pasta shape that has some texture so the avocado Cesar dressing can grab onto it. This will make every single bite be packed with flavour.
Pasta Salad with Avocado Cesar Dressing
For the salad
- 150 g pancetta sliced
- 120 g frozen corn kernels
- 130 g frozen asparagus
- 130 g pasta it can be regular or wholegrain
- Basil leaves
- Olive oil
- Parmesan cheese flakes made with a vegetable peeler
For the Avocado Cesar dressing
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- ½ avocado peeled
- 1 lime juice only
- 1 anchovy filet or 2 if you prefer it stronger or none if you don't like it
- 2 garlic cloves
- 30 g parmesan cheese, freshly finely grated
- 5-10 tbsp milk any kind
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the salad
Cook the pancetta on medium heat until golden on both sides. Remove it and place it on a dish with kitchen paper. Once cold, chop it in small squares.
Thaw the corn and aspáragus and drain them well.
Preheat a pan over high heat and drizzle olive oil on it.
Cook the corn on the pan for 2 minutes or until tender. Remove them and place them on a colander to remove the excess liquid.
Preheat the pan again and drizzle olive oil on it. Place the asparagus in and sprinkle a nice amount of salt on them to keep them green. Cook them for 2 minutes and remove them. Also place them on the colander to remove excess liquid.
Cook the pasta in water with plenty of salt until al dente; about 8-10 minutes. Remove it and mix it with olive oil to prevent it from sticking.
Wait for everything to cool down before continuing.
For the dressing
Place everything in a food processor or use an immersion blender until smooth. Add milk to correct the thickness.
Mix the corn, asparagus, pasta and pancetta with the dressing.
Finish the salad with fresh basil leaves and parmesan cheese flakes.