This is an excellent side or main dish salad featuring three exciting spring green veggies.
1 lb. fresh asparagus, trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup olive oil, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 lbs. uncooked penne pasta
3/4 cup chopped green onions
6 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 pkg. (6 oz.) fresh spinach
1 cup coarsely chopped cashews, optional
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
Place asparagus into a 13"x9" baking dish. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil; sprinkle with salt. Bake, uncovered, at 400 F for 8–10 minutes or until crisp-tender, stirring after 5 minutes. Cook pasta; drain. For dressing, combine onions, vinegar, and soy sauce in a blender and process. While processing, gradually add the 1/2 cup oil in steady stream. In a large bowl, combine pasta, spinach and asparagus. Drizzle with dressing; toss to coat. Sprinkle with cashews and cheese.
Yield: 12 servings.