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Roasted Rhubarb and Asparagus Pasta Salad

Roasted Rhubarb and Asparagus Pasta Salad 4.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Dinner in Minutes May 6, 2015

One look at the name of the recipe and you might be thinking: Hey, it's too early for pasta salad. On closer inspection, you'll see you vaulted right past the mention of rhubarb and asparagus. They're all about spring. So what you have here is a tasty, textured, transitional meal.

Feel free to toss in grilled shrimp or shreds of leftover rotisserie chicken.

Serve with warm garlic bread or foccaccia.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings

  • Kosher or sea salt
  • 8 ounces dried farfalle (bow-tie) pasta
  • 4 ounces baby spinach leaves (may substitute stemmed regular spinach leaves)
  • 2 medium rhubarb stalks (about 8 ounces total)
  • 8 ounces asparagus
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or more as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or more as needed
  • 1 small handful basil leaves
  • 1 small handful sorrel leaves (may substitute your favorite fresh herb)


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add a generous pinch or two of kosher or sea salt, then the pasta. Cook to al dente according to the package directions.

Meanwhile, coarsely chop the spinach, placing it at the bottom of a colander set in the sink.

Combine the following ingredients in a mixing bowl as you work: Trim off and discard the rhubarb ends, then cut the stalks into 1/2-inch pieces. Trim any tough ends from the asparagus, then cut the spears into 1-inch pieces. Mince the garlic.

Add the 2 tablespoons of oil, the 1/2 teaspoon of salt and the 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes to the bowl; toss to coat and distribute evenly. Spread the mixture on a rimmed baking sheet; roast for 6 to 8 minutes or just until fork-tender. (You don’t want the rhubarb to break apart.)

Drain the pasta into the colander, pouring the cooking water over the spinach. Give the colander a good shake, then transfer the wilted spinach and pasta to a serving dish.

Add the roasted rhubarb mixture to the serving dish. Stack and roll the herb leaves tightly, then cut them into ribbons (for a total of about 4 tablespoons); add to the serving dish. Gently toss the whole mixture; taste and add oil, sea salt and/or crushed red pepper flakes as needed.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from “New Prairie Kitchen: Stories and Seasonal Recipes From Chefs, Farmers, and Artisans of the Great Plains,” by Summer Miller (Agate, May 2015).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving: 300

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 8g 12%

Saturated Fat: 1g 5%

Cholesterol: 0mg 0%

Sodium: 330mg 14%

Total Carbohydrates: 47g 16%

Dietary Fiber: 5g 20%

Sugar: 4g

Protein: 9g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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