Dietitian's tip: Rice vinegar is a clean-tasting, brisk condiment favored in Asian kitchens. White wine vinegar reflects the characteristics of white wine and is thought to have more "bite." Use either type of vinegar in the dressing for this dilled pasta salad.
For the dressing
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons rice or white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons dill weed
Cracked black pepper, to taste
3 cups uncooked shell pasta, medium-sized
8 asparagus spears, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1 cup sliced green peppers
1/2 cup chopped green (spring) onions
To make the dressing, in a small bowl add the olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, dill weed and black pepper. Whisk to mix evenly. Set aside.
Fill a large pot 3/4 full with water and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente (tender), 10 to 12 minutes, or according to the package directions. Drain the pasta thoroughly and rinse under cold water.
In a small saucepan, cover the asparagus with water. Bring to a boil and cook only until tender-crisp, about 3 to 5 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water.
In a large bowl, add the pasta, asparagus, tomatoes, green peppers, onions and dressing. Toss to mix evenly. Cover and refrigerate. Serve chilled.