Tuesday, June 7, 2011

I can't take credit for this meal. I found the recipe, but Will made it happen. I like pesto, but only a little bit because basil tastes like liquorish to me. This is a great alternative recipe and it is very tasty.  We had some left over and we used it on a pizza the following night. 

Here is what you need:
  • 1 bunch asparagus spears (about 1 lb), trimmed of tough ends and halved crosswise
  • 3 handfuls baby spinach leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
  • 1 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for topping
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • 8 ounces of dried pasta or 12 ounces fresh -linguini, fettuccini, spaghetti Mix spinach pasta with regular wheat pasta for a medley of colors.
While the water is heating, put the pine nuts in a single layer in a large skillet. Heat on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and lightly browned. Remove pine nuts from pan and set aside. You will use 3/4 cup of the pine nuts for the pesto paste and 1/4 cup to mix in whole.
Cook asparagus for only 2 or 3 minutes, until the spears are bright green and barely tender. 
Add the asparagus, spinach, garlic, Parmesan, and 3/4 cup of the pine nuts to a food processor. Purée and, with the motor running, drizzle in the 1/4 cup of olive oil until a paste forms. Add the lemon juice and salt, taste and adjust seasoning.
Salt the pasta water well and cook the pasta until just tender. Check the directions on the pasta package. You'll need more time for dried pasta and less for fresh. Drain and toss immediately with 1 cup of the asparagus pesto.
Serve sprinkled with the remaining 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts, a dusting of Parmesan, and a light drizzle of olive oil.

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