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Roasted rhubarb and asparagus pasta salad

Prep: 20 minutes Cook: 25 minutes Makes: 4-6 servings

Adapted from the "New Prairie Kitchen" and Maggie Pleskac of Maggie's Vegetarian Cafe in Lincoln, Neb. Rhubarb may seem like an unusual ingredient in a pasta recipe, but it adds a delicious tart accent to the mix along with striking color.

1/2 pound bow tie pasta

1/4 pound fresh spinach leaves, coarsely chopped, thicker stems removed

1/2 pound rhubarb, about 2 large stalks, cut in 1/2-inch pieces

1/2 pound asparagus stalks, cut in 1-inch pieces

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more to taste

2 large cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 teaspoon each: sea salt, red pepper flakes, plus more to taste

2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil leaves

2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh sorrel leaves, optional

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Cook pasta according to package directions in a large pot of well-salted boiling water. While pasta cooks, place chopped spinach in a colander; set aside.

2. Toss rhubarb and asparagus in a large bowl with olive oil, garlic, salt and red pepper flakes. Spread mixture evenly on a baking sheet. Roast in the oven just until fork tender, 6 to 8 minutes; you do not want the rhubarb to break apart.

3. When pasta has finished cooking, pour into the colander with the spinach; spinach will wilt. Drain spinach and pasta. Transfer to a serving dish. Add rhubarb mixture, basil and sorrel, if using. Toss together adding more olive oil, salt and red pepper to taste.

 

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