1 ½cupprepared Italian salad dressingi.e. Marzetti's Plus additional as needed
1tspdry Italian seasoning
1tspcrushed red pepper flakes
Salt and black pepperto taste
3Tbspgrated Parmesan cheese
2Tbspchiffonade fresh basil
Cook the penne pasta in salted water per the instructions on the box, until al dente. Drain well then add to a medium-size mixing bowl.
Remove the tough portion of the asparagus stem then steam until crisp tender. Slice into 1- inch pieces.
Add the sliced asparagus, mozzerella cheese, ham, cherry tomatoes, onion, olives. dressing, Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes to the cooked pasta. Mix until the ingredients are well coated. Taste and add salt and black pepper to your taste. (The amount can vary depending on the dressing used)
Place the bowl into the refrigerator and allow to chill covered for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Just before serving, stir well and adjust the amount of dressing, salt and black pepper, to your taste.
Pour into a serving bowl. Garnish with Parmesan cheese and basil ribbons just before serving.
Hard salami or prosciutto may be used in place of the smoked ham.