Pasta Salad With Melon, Pancetta, And Ricotta Salata

Cantaloupe grows during the high months of summer and has a very high concentration of vitamin A. When harvested during the summer and grown organically, these fruits contain many more nutrients and have a much more intense flavor. They are a great addition to a fruit salad, and you can even wrap cantaloupe slices in prosciutto ham and serve them as an appetizer. The sweet flavor of the fruit tastes delicious with the salty flavors of the prosciutto.

Pasta Salad With Melon, Pancetta, And Ricotta Salata


• 2 ounces thinly sliced pancetta (Italian bacon)
• 4 ounces orecchiette (ear-shaped pasta)
• Kosher salt
• 3 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 1/2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
• 2 cups 1x1x1/4′ pieces peeled cantaloupe
• 1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint, divided
• 3 tablespoons thinly sliced scallion
• Freshly ground black pepper red pepper flakes
• 1 ounce ricotta salata (salted dry ricotta), shaved, or crumbled feta

• Heat oven to 350°. Arrange pancetta in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake until brown and crisp, 20–25 minutes. (Alternatively, place pancetta on folded layers of paper towels on a microwave-proof plate and microwave on high until brown and crisp, about 5 minutes.) Let pancetta stand until cool enough to handle, then break into bite-size pieces.
• Meanwhile, cook pasta in a medium pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain pasta; run under cold water to cool. Drain and set aside.
• Whisk oil and vinegar in a large bowl. Add half of pancetta, cooked pasta, melon, half of mint, scallion, and red pepper flakes. Toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle remaining pancetta and mint over. Garnish with shaved ricotta salata.