“Carbonara” Orzo Pasta Salad with Spring Vegetables and Portobello Lardons

Recipe by Chef Michael Israel

Barilla Orzo Pasta, Sweet English Peas, Snow Peas, Asparagus, Portobello Mushroom “Bacon Lardons,” Basil and Mint  tossed with Lemon-Herb Vinaigrette served over Whipped Parmesan Cream

3 Pounds Barilla Orzo
8 oz. Sugar Snap Peas, julienned 1/8" thick
32 each Basil Leaves, torn into 1/2" pieces
1 Tsp. Kosher Salt
16 oz. Whipped Parmesan Cream (see recipe)
2 Tbsp Parmesan Cheese, microplaned
1 Pound Sweet English Peas, Shelled
32 each Mint Leaves, torn into 1/2" pieces
48 each Portobello Mushroom Bacon Lardons (see recipe)
1 Tsp. Black Pepper, freshly cracked
48 each Asparagus Spears 6", blanched
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1. In a mixing bowl, combine the orzo pasta, sweet English peas, snow peas, mint, basil, parmesan cheese, Portobello mushroom lardons, kosher salt and black pepper and toss to incorporate.

2. Drizzle the lemon-herb vinaigrette and toss to incorporate.

3. Evenly spread the parmesan cream onto the center of a plate forming a 5″ to 6 ” circle with a well in the center.

4. Place the asparagus spears in a curved bundle onto the top of the parmesan cream from 9:00 to 1:00 with the tops of the spears facing 9:00.

5. Mound the salad mixture into the well of the parmesan cream.

6. Microplane the lemon and parmesan cheese over the salad.

7. Drizzle the extra virgin olive oil over and around the salad.