- Cook the penne according to the packet instructions. Add the asparagus when the pasta has 1 minute left to cook and, once the penne is just tender, drain into a colander. Reserve ½ cup of the cooking water and set aside.
- As the pasta cooks, pour the olive oil into a large fry pan and place over a medium heat. Once hot, add the shallots and garlic, and gently fry for 3 minutes or until the shallots have softened.
- Reduce the heat to low, and then add the drained pasta and asparagus to the fry pan. Stir through to combine. Add the ricotta, parmesan, reserved hot cooking water, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper, and stir all the ingredients together until everything is mixed well.
- Remove the pan from the heat and lay over the torn pieces of smoked salmon. Scatter over the mint leaves and serve immediately.