I adore melon and prosciutto together. Especially now when ripe melons are available at the markets. I also love a good pasta salad - cold pasta with vinaigrette and veggies is one of my favourite meals.
So I decided to combine these loves in a pasta salad with prosciutto and melon.
I received a Galia melon in my CSA box. It's a small green melon that tastes similar to honeydew. This salad would also be great with cantaloupe.
I used medium shells for the pasta. Orecchiette would also be great here. Any short pasta will do but I like the way the shells mimic the shape of the scoops of melon.
I think this is the first time my melon baller has been used for melon! You could certainly just dice the melon but I like the little half-balls.
For the dressing, I made a quick white wine vinaigrette right in the pasta pot after cooking and draining the pasta. This made it a one-pot meal, but you can make all the components separately if you prefer.
I mixed the prosciutto into the salad, but it has a tendency to clump together. I'd advise adding the proscuitto to each individual salad once it's plated so it keeps it's vibrant colour and stays separate.
The result was a wonderful, cool, refreshing, salad that made a great summer dinner. I ate it for lunch the next day too and it kept surprisingly well.
Here's the recipe:
For the salad:
500 grams (1 lb) medium pasta shells, orecchiette, penne or pasta of your choice
1 small Galia melon or half a medium cantaloupe or honeydew melon
1 sprig of basil leaves, sliced if large
1 green onion, thinly sliced
125 grams (1/4 lb) thinly sliced prosciutto
125 grams (1/4 lb) diced or crumbled feta or ricotta salata
For the dressing:
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper
- Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water until cool.
- Meanwhile, halve the melon, remove the seeds, and use a melon baller to scrape out balls or scoops of melon. Alternatively, peel and dice the melon.
- In the empty pasta pot or a large bowl, combine the vinegar and red pepper flakes. Whisk in oil until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the pasta to the dressing and toss well to combine. Gently add the melon, basil and green onion.
- Plate the salad in individual servings and top each serving with torn slices of prosciutto and cheese. Sprinkle generously with black pepper to serve.