Shaved Asparagus Pasta Salad

Grey bowl of pasta salad with shaved asparagus.

Yesterday I bought a tonne of asparagus, so obviously there was only one option for lunch today: say hello to my Shaved Asparagus Pasta Salad. Heavy with lemon, pecorino cheese, toasted pine nuts and of course plenty of raw shaved asparagus (if you’ve never tried raw asparagus before do – it is fresher, nuttier, and tastes like a cross between cooked asparagus and green peas) it is the perfect late-spring treat for lunch, or makes a perfect side dish for this weekends barbecue – it goes really well with chicken, either simply grilled or amped up with a lemon and honey marinade and threaded on skewers for maximum char.

Asparagus Pasta Salad with thin asparagus spears in the background.
Close up of a pasta salad with asparagus, lemon and pine nuts.

Inspired by my Raw Asparagus Salad with Lemon, Hazelnuts & Pecorino for paying subscribers to my Substack newsletter (you can sign up for either the free or paid versions here!) I love how the thick, lemony, cheesy dressing coats pasta bows, pairing them this time with the creamy, summery nuttiness of toasted pine nuts.

I did not add any herbs as I wanted the simple flavour of the asparagus sing, but dill would be the natural choice in this Shaved Asparagus Pasta Salad if you’d like a bit more going on. Also: do try to find purple asparagus like I’ve used here if you’re serving it to guests as the mix of purple and green looks beautiful on the plate (just how when I’m making a traditional Greek beetroot salad I use purple beetroot for my family, but make the effort of layering up rainbow varieties for a dinner party table!)

Grey bowl of asparagus and lemon pasta salad.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this pasta salad ahead?

You can make most of it ahead, but don’t add in the shaved asparagus any more than 5 minutes before serving because it will wilt in the lemon dressing and lose some of it’s crunch in a similar way to raw courgette.

Can I make this recipe vegan?

Sure, just leave out the pecorino cheese and add a little extra salt seasoning to taste!

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Grey bowl of pasta salad with shaved asparagus.

Shaved Asparagus Pasta Salad

  • Author: Rachel Phipps
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2-4 1x
  • Category: Salads


A zesty, lemon-heavy Shaved Asparagus Pasta Salad recipe that makes a perfect springtime lunch or side dish for barbecued chicken.


  • 170g (6 oz) pasta bows
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • zest and juice of 1/2 large lemon
  • 15g (1/2 oz) finely grated pecorino
  • freshly ground sea salt and black pepper
  • 100g (3 1/2 oz) asparagus spears
  • large handful toasted pine nuts


  1. Cook the pasta as per the packets instructions in a pan of salted water. Once it is tender, rinse it under a cold tap to cool it down and rinse off any excess starch. Set aside to drain really, really well.
  2. In the bottom of a large mixing bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon, cheese, and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Toss in the pasta until well coated, and set aside for the bows to absorb the dressing.
  3. Meanwhile, snap the woody bottoms off the asparagus spears and using a very sharp knife thinly slice them along the diagonal.
  4. Toss the shaved asparagus and the toasted pine nuts with the pasta, season to taste with more salt, pepper or lemon juice as needed, and serve immediately.


Pecorino cheese is not vegetarian, so use a vegetarian Italian hard cheese instead if you’re serving this to strictly meat-free guests.