Spring Veg Pesto Pasta
Everything is so lush and green outside, so here’s a dinner to match using seasonal produce, bonus points if it’s local.
Spring Veg and Pesto Pasta
1+1/2 cups basil, packed
1/2 cup walnuts (or pecans, almonds, pine nuts), toasted
scant 1/3 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic
500g dry pasta (I used linguine)
1/2 bunch fresh asparagus, woody ends removed and sliced into 1-2 inch pieces
3/4 cup peas, fresh or frozen
s + p
Bring 2 large pots of well-salted water to a boil, one for blanching and one for cooking the pasta. Have a big bowl of ice water on standby.
While the water is boiling, make the pesto. Add the nuts to a food processor and pulse to form a fine crumb, then add in the basil, garlic and oil and pulse to form a smooth paste. Finish by seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
Once water is boiled, add pasta to one pot. Add asparagus to the other pot and blanch for 60 seconds until bright green and tender, then using a slotted spoon transfer it to the ice bath for 1-2 minutes, then transfer to a colander to drain. Allow the same water to boil again and repeat with the peas.
Once pasta is al dente, add pesto to a large saucepan over medium heat. Loosen with 1/4 cup of pasta water. Using tongs, add pasta directly from the pot into the pesto pan and toss to coat. Then add the blanched and drained asparagus and peas and stir. Add more pasta water as necessary to loosen the sauce until it coats everything nicely. Season to taste and serve.