Italian Shrimp and Asparagus Farfalle Pasta Recipe.

Italian Shrimp and Asparagus Farfalle Pasta. 

It’s been raining buckets this month here in Northern Italy. But, that hasn’t stopped me making some delicious seasonal spring pasta recipes.  This Italian shrimp and asparagus farfalle is what we enjoyed last weekend. And, I’ll definitely be making it again before asparagus season ends! It is so easy and delicious! Perfect for warm weather lunches and light dinners.

Italian shrimp and asparagus farfalle recipe

Farfalle con asparagi e gamberetti.

Although the combination of pasta, shrimp and asparagus isn’t an old traditional meal, it’s very very popular in Italy today. And, of course, all the ingredients are not only Italian and typical but have been cooked and eaten by Italians for generations.

Italian shrimp and asparagus farfalle recipe

The asparagus.

Italy cultivates the most green asparagus in Europe and is the third largest producer of white asparagus. I’m lucky to live in Veneto, the biggest asparagus growing region in Italy. Here asparagus, both green and white, are an important ingredient in the spring kitchen.  

Ingredients for shrimp and asparagus pasta recipe

Italians eat asparagus in many different ways but the most popular are in risotto, soup and with pasta.  This shrimp and asparagus  farfalle recipe is a delicious example of how well asparagus and pasta go together. If you want to read more about the history of asparagus in the Italian kitchen check out my recipe for pasta with asparagus.

ingredients prepared for cooking chopped asparagus, separate asparagus tips, halved cherry tomatoes, cleaned shrimps and peeled garlic

The pasta.

I used farfalle pasta for this recipe. Farfalle, also known outside of Italy as bow tie pasta, are actually a fairly old pasta shape.  In fact, farfalle pasta dates back to the 16th century!!  I have read that this pasta was invented as a way to use up leftover pasta dough after making filled cappelletti. You can read more about the history of farfalle if you click here.

Farfalle pasta Garofalo

The farfalle I bought to make this shrimp and asparagus pasta recipe was made by Garofalo, one of my favourite producers of Pasta di Gragnano IGP. Pasta di Gragnano IGP is made by a number of different companies located in and around the town of Gragnano, near Naples. This pasta is made according to very strict regulations and is probably one of the best dried pastas in Italy.  Want to know more about this pasta? Watch the video below from the Consortium of Pasta di Gragnano.

cut asparagus pieces and fresh garlic in frying pan

Of course, you can use other brands of farfalle or bow tie pasta if you can’t find Pasta di Gragnano. You can also use other types of short pasta such as penne.  However, farfalle are great with light seafood sauces. This pasta is very popular with salmon and is also excellent in pasta salads. This Italian shrimp and asparagus farfalle works really well as a pasta salad too.

asparagus pieces, garlic and halved cherry tomatoes in frying pan

The other ingredients in this pasta, shrimp and asparagus recipe.

Apart from the pasta and asparagus, all you will need to make this delicious dish is some cherry tomatoes, garlic (I used fresh garlic), white wine and olive oil. This is an Italian recipe so here it wouldn’t be eaten with cheese. You can add a little spice with some peperoncino flakes. If you want to use herbs, the best would be parsley.

all sauce ingredients, tomatoes, shrimps, asparagus and garlic, in frying pan

Making Italian shrimp and asparagus farfalle.

This is quite a quick pasta dish to make. The only time consuming part of the preparation is cleaning the shrimp. I used unpeeled frozen shrimps, which I had frozen from fresh. I removed the head, tail and shells from most of them, leaving a few intact for decoration and flavour .

cooked farfalle pasta in frying pan with sauce ingredients

Intact shrimps or prawns add more flavour to the sauce. In fact, when time is not of the essence,  I prefer to cook shrimps and prawns intact and shell them after or while eating.  You can use fresh or frozen shrimps or prawns for this shrimp and asparagus pasta recipe. For more flavour, I recommend using unpeeled and uncooked ones. But go with what’s available! I’m sure you’ll love this dish either way!

Italian shrimp and asparagus farfalle recipe

If you do try this recipe, I’d love to hear what you think. Please write a comment here on the blog or post a comment on the Pasta Project Facebook page.

Your feedback means a lot to me!

Buon appetito!

Italian shrimp and asparagus farfalle recipe


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5 from 23 votes
Italian shrimp and asparagus farfalle recipe
Italian Shrimp and Asparagus Farfalle Recipe
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
40 mins

This light and easy to make shrimp and asparagus spring pasta recipe can be eaten warm or as a pasta salad. It's perfect for warm weather lunches or light dinners

Course: Main Course, pasta salad
Cuisine: Italian, Mediterranean
Keyword: asparagus, bow-tie pasta, farfalle, Italian recipe, pasta salad, seafood pasta, shrimps
Servings: 4
Author: Jacqueline De Bono
  • 400 g farfalle or bow tie pasta (14oz) I used Pasta Garofalo
  • 400 g shrimps or prawns (fresh or frozen)
  • 400 g asparagus (green)
  • 8-10 cherry tomatoes
  • 1-2 garlic cloves (I used fresh garlic)
  • 1/2 glass white wine
  • salt for pasta and to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • peperoncino flakes (optional) as required
  • fresh basil or parsley (optional)
  1. Clean the shrimps/ prawns by removing the head and the shell from most of them. Keep 4-8 intact. Rinse them under running water and drain them. Prepare the asparagus by removing the final part of the stem. This is best done by bending them until they break. The lower half of the stalk can be discarded. Wash and cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Peel the garlic.

  2. Put a pot of water onto boil for the pasta. Add salt once it starts to boil and bring to the boil again.

  3. Cut off the asparagus tips from the rest and set aside. Then cut the remaining stalks into smaller pieces. 

Make this recipe
  1. In a large saucepan or iron skillet, sauté the garlic in the olive oil for a few moments, add the pieces of asparagus stalk and cook them covered with a lid over a medium heat for about 10 minutes. After this time (the asparagus must be wilted but not too soft), add the washed, dried and halved cherry tomatoes.

  2. Also add the asparagus tips and continue cooking for another 10 minutes. At this point, add the shrimps /prawns and salt and pepper to taste. Add the white wine, turn up the heat and let the alcohol evaporate. Continue cooking on a medium heat for about 5 minutes . 

  3. Cook the farfalle al dente according to the instructions on the packet. Before draining, save a cup of the cooking water. Drain the pasta and add to the sauce with a little of the saved cooking water. Mix together well. If the pasta seems too dry, add a little more cooking water. Saute everything together for a minute or two.

  4. Serve immediately sprinkled with chopped parsley/basil or a few peperoncino flakes. 

Recipe Notes

This dish can also be eaten as a pasta salad. Italians tend to eat pasta salad tepid or room temperature rather than cold. If you wish to refrigerate this dish for later, let it get back to room temperature or reheat slightly with a dash of olive oil before serving.

Pin for Later

Italian shrimp and asparagus farfalle recipe Italian shrimp and asparagus farfalle recipeVideo about Pasta di Gragnano by the Consortium of Pasta di Gragnano. (English Subtitles)

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  • Avatar
    June 14, 2019 4:44 pm

    wow, pasta with shrimp looks so colourful and irresistible. My hubby likes shrimp a lot . Bookmarking this recipe and will try soon.

  • Avatar
    June 4, 2019 4:22 am

    I love this blog so much! I love pasta

  • Avatar
    Heather Behrends
    June 4, 2019 4:21 am

    I love how light, colorful and healthy this pasta is! Farfalle pasta is my favorite!!!

  • Avatar
    June 3, 2019 5:04 am

    This sounds like a gorgeous dinner, and so easy to make as well!

  • Avatar
    June 3, 2019 4:10 am

    This pasta salad has all the best flavors combined into one amazing dish. So many fresh ingredients that would be gone in minutes.

  • Avatar
    Jacquelyn Hastert
    June 3, 2019 3:49 am

    What a great spring pasta salad! This would work well for any potluck or picnic. It has also been raining buckets here in the midwest USA.

  • Avatar
    Chef Markus Mueller
    June 3, 2019 2:12 am

    I love how quick and easy this pasta dish is, perfect for a quick weeknight meal! I don’t know if I can find shrimp with head on, here in PEI they are not really local and the best I can do is frozen shrimp. I’ll have to do some digging and see if I can source them head on….they look so cool!

  • Avatar
    Rebecca Blackwell
    June 2, 2019 8:22 pm

    This recipe includes so many of my favorite things, I can’t wait to try it. We live in a land locked area of the world without a lot of good fresh seafood options so I’m going to try it with frozen shrimp. I’m sure it won’t be as good as fresh, but still worth a try! Thanks for sharing!

  • Avatar
    June 2, 2019 6:58 pm

    If comfort food had a heaven, this would be it!! What an amazing dish and a creative way to combine shrimp with pasta and vegetables. Love the addition of asparagus!! Yumm

  • Avatar
    June 2, 2019 1:26 pm

    I’m always looking for new ways to use asparagus, this looks fabulous!

  • Avatar
    Ai | Ai made it for you
    June 2, 2019 12:26 pm

    What a delicious looking dish! I’ll eat anything with shrimp and asparagus! Yum!!

  • Avatar
    Trop Rockin Tammy
    June 2, 2019 7:24 am

    I love all these ingredients, looking forward to trying them all together!

  • Avatar
    June 2, 2019 4:30 am

    Sounds terrific!!!

  • Avatar
    June 1, 2019 5:06 pm

    I am all in for any recipe that includes asparagus, pasta, and shrimp!! This looks so yummy and satisfying.

  • Avatar
    June 1, 2019 1:47 am

    You had me at asparagus and shrimp!! This dish full of such fresh and yummy ingredients . Sometimes simple dishes are the most delicious and this looks like the case. As usual I love that you gave a little lesson on Italy and their greenest asparagus.

    • Jacqui
      June 1, 2019 8:03 am

      Thank yo Debbie! I agree simple dishes are often the most delicious, especially when the ingredients are fresh and seasonal. Happy you like the info/history I include about the recipes and/or the ingredients!

  • Avatar
    Mama Maggie’s Kitchen
    May 31, 2019 10:45 pm

    Mmm… I think I just heard my tummy growl. lol. Thank you for making me hungry!

  • Avatar
    Veena Azmanov
    May 31, 2019 7:27 pm

    Love this Platter and the amazing combinations to it. Tasty and yummy meal.

  • Avatar
    Carrie | Clean Eating Kitchen
    May 31, 2019 4:51 pm

    What a delicious looking spring dish – I’m using asparagus in everything right now so will be trying this out for sure!

  • Avatar
    Kylee from Kylee Cooks
    May 30, 2019 10:30 pm

    What a gorgeous spring dish!! If I lived in Veneto, I’d be eating sooo much asparagus! This looks like the perfect dish to make ahead.

  • Avatar
    Kelly Anthony
    May 30, 2019 9:32 pm

    This recipe does look like a perfect lunch and dinner option for summer. I’m always looking for something different to cook with asparagus and this one hits the spot.

  • Avatar
    May 30, 2019 9:19 pm

    I love having options when it comes to pasta. This is definitely going into my meal time rotation. Plus my three yr old finds these cute pasta bows particularly attractive. That’s the only pasta she eats currently.

  • Avatar
    Bintu | Recipes From A Pantry
    May 30, 2019 11:43 am

    Shrimp and asparagus are a fab combination and this dish looks so delicious! Perfect for summer.

  • Avatar
    May 30, 2019 10:28 am

    This is definitely my kind of food. Simple and delicious!

  • Avatar
    Pinelopi Kyriazi
    May 30, 2019 10:17 am

    Give me Asparagus and Pasta and I am sold! I just can live with just eating them every day! 🙂 Loved your recipe!

  • Avatar
    Annie @ Annie’s Noms
    May 30, 2019 9:30 am

    This looks delicious, my husband would devour this as shrimp and asparagus are two of his favourite things!!

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