Have you ever tried pepe pasta? It’s sometimes labeled as acini di pepe, and can be found with the rest of the pasta options in most grocery stores. If your favorite pasta brand doesn’t sell pepe, just be sure to browse the other brands, and you should be able to find it.
It’s very similar to Israeli couscous, and you can use the two interchangeably, if you wish. It’s such a fun little shape to cook with and eat. And with summer being a four-month pasta salad bender in my house, pepe is a little change of pace from the more traditional shapes like elbows, penne and rotini.
I like to include as many vegetables as possible in my pasta salads, and this one is no exception. While the pasta was boiling, I sautéed a fresh leek and some chopped asparagus. Cherry tomatoes and fresh corn kernels add even more vegetable goodness.
Everything is tossed in a light and tangy dressing made with Greek yogurt, Parmesan cheese and dill. Dairy products like yogurt and milk provide high quality protein, amino acids and calcium, giving this salad another boost of nutrition. In that case, I’ll have another scoop of this Summer Vegetable Pepe Pasta Salad, please!
- 4 ounces acini di pepe pasta
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 leek (white and light green parts only), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
- 1/2 bunch asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup corn kernels
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- In large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions, then drain.
- Meanwhile, in large skillet, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add leek and cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add asparagus and cook 5 to 7 minutes or until tender-crisp, stirring occasionally.
- In large bowl, stir together yogurt, cheese, dill, salt and pepper. Add corn, tomatoes, pasta and asparagus mixture; toss until well combined. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 2 days before serving.