Monday, 11 April 2011

Asparagus Pesto

Didn't I promise you another asparagus recipe? Here it is!

To break from the rut of asparagus/egg/bread which whilst being delicious is a bit of a standard way to have asparagus, I decided to whizz up the stalks into a nice fresh pesto.

Asparagus makes a beautifully green pesto which is creamy and light, not as strong as the basil variety and perfect for a quick dinner.

Use any pasta you have to hand, spaghetti or linguine would be lovely as well as any other pasta shapes.

Asparagus & Walnut Pesto - serves 2
adapted from local lemons

8 stalks of asparagus
50g parmesan
handful of walnuts
few basil leaves or any other soft herb
pinch of chili flakes
handful of fresh spinach leaves
good quality olive oil
salt and pepper
1 small clove of garlic - add less if you don't like raw garlic
approx 150g - 200g pasta

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, you will use this to gently cook your asparagus and cook your pasta. Put the asparagus stalks in whole, woody ends removed. Cook for only 2 minutes, they will be just tender enough in this time.
Remove them from the pan and then add in your pasta.

Chop your asparagus into roughly 1 inch pieces, put the tips to one side.
Blitz the rest of the chopped asparagus with the other ingredients (except the olive oil) in a food processor. You can use a pestle and mortar for a rougher pesto. Add in approx 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and pulse, adding more oil if it needs be to loosen up the pesto.

Drain your pasta, reserving a few tablespoons of the cooking water. Return the pan to the heat with the pasta, add in your pesto and the reserved stalks and mix really well. Serve in warmed bowls with another grating of parmesan.

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  1. Mmmm - that looks and sounds delicious!

  2. I love asparagus season. I bought my first bunch of British asparagus at the weekend and have been gobbling it for breakfast with boiled eggs. Yummy.