Pesto is traditionally made with basil, but here, asparagus does the heavy lifting.
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2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup pine nuts
3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunch asparagus, trimmed
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound whole wheat linguini
How to Make It
Cut off and reserve the asparagus tips. Chop the asparagus stalks. In a food processor with the motor running, drop in the garlic and finely chop. Add the nuts, cheese, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and pulse to finely chop. Add the chopped asparagus stalks and pulse to finely chop. With the motor running, add the oil, blending to combine.
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente. 2 minutes before the pasta is done, add the reserved asparagus tips. Reserve 3/4 cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta and asparagus tips. Toss the pasta with the pesto and about half the reserved cooking water. Add more water for a looser consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then serve.
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