Spring Pesto Pasta with Asparagus is a fresh and flavorful dish that captures the essence of the season. The dish features pasta tossed with homemade pesto sauce and sautéed asparagus, which adds a bright and vibrant green color to the dish. The pesto is made with fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil, which gives the dish its signature herbaceous flavor. The asparagus is cooked until tender but still has a nice crunch, and it provides a satisfying texture that complements the pasta well. This dish is perfect for a quick and easy weeknight dinner or a light lunch.
To make this dish, start by cooking the pasta according to the package directions. While the pasta is cooking, sauté the asparagus in a pan until tender, and set it aside. Then, prepare the pesto sauce by blending together fresh basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil in a food processor until smooth. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and toss it with the pesto sauce until well-coated. Finally, add the sautéed asparagus to the pasta and stir to combine. Serve the pasta warm, garnished with extra Parmesan cheese and fresh basil leaves, if desired.
This dish is a delicious and fresh take on traditional pasta, featuring seasonal asparagus and a homemade pesto sauce. The pasta is cooked until al dente and tossed with the vibrant green pesto, which is made with fresh basil, garlic, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, and olive oil. The asparagus is blanched and then sautéed until tender-crisp before being added to the pasta. This combination of flavors and textures creates a bright and satisfying meal that is perfect for springtime.
To make Spring Pesto Pasta with Asparagus, you will need the following ingredients:
- 1 pound pasta of your choice
- 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lemon, juiced and zested
- Salt and pepper to taste
1. Follow these steps to make Spring Pesto Pasta with Asparagus:
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, according to package instructions.
3. While the pasta is cooking, prepare the pesto. In a large skillet, toast the pine nuts over medium heat until golden brown, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes.
4. In a food processor, combine the toasted pine nuts, basil, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and zest, and salt and pepper to taste. Pulse until the mixture is smooth and well combined.
5. When the pasta is almost done, add the asparagus to the pot and cook for 1-2 minutes, until it is bright green and tender.
6. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta and asparagus and return it to the pot.
7. Add the pesto to the pot and toss to coat the pasta and asparagus. If the sauce is too thick, add some of the reserved pasta cooking water to thin it out.
8. Serve hot, garnished with additional Parmesan cheese and lemon zest if desired.
Here are some tips to make the best Spring Pesto Pasta with Asparagus:
- Be sure to trim the tough ends off the asparagus before cooking it.
- Don’t overcook the asparagus – it should be tender but still have a bit of crunch.
- If you don’t have pine nuts, you can substitute another type of nut, such as walnuts or almonds.
- For a vegan version of this recipe, omit the Parmesan cheese or use a vegan cheese substitute.
Here are some variations you can try to customize this recipe to your liking:
- Add some cooked shrimp or chicken for a protein boost.
- Swap out the asparagus for another spring vegetable, such as peas or fava beans.
- Use a different type of pasta, such as fusilli or farfalle, to change up the texture of the dish.
- Add some crushed red pepper flakes for a bit of heat.
Spring Pesto Pasta with Asparagus is a delicious and easy recipe that’s perfect for celebrating the arrival of spring. With its bright and zesty flavors and tender asparagus, this dish is sure to be a hit with your family and friends. Plus, it’s quick and easy to make, so you can enjoy a delicious homemade meal in no time.
1. Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
Yes, you can make the pesto and cook the pasta and asparagus ahead of time and store them separately in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to serve, simply toss everything together and heat it up in a skillet or microwave.
2. Can I use a different type of nut in the pesto?
Yes, you can substitute another type of nut, such as walnuts or almonds, if you don’t have pine nuts on hand.
3. How long does this dish keep in the refrigerator?
This dish will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
4. Can I freeze this dish?
While you can freeze the pesto, it’s best not to freeze the entire dish as the texture of the pasta and asparagus may suffer.
5. Can I make this recipe vegan?
Yes, you can make this recipe vegan by omitting the Parmesan cheese or using a vegan cheese substitute.