Fresh asparagus is turned into a creamy pesto sauce and tossed with orecchiette pasta to make this flavourful dish an absolute hit!
My love asparagus runs deep. As soon as asparagus makes its way into the market (helllooo spring!), I can be found filling my grocery basket with a bunch or two. Every time.
Today I decided that I was going use it up in my pasta dish. As a pesto. Yup, a pesto. I am no stranger to making pestos out of all sorts of veggies and herbs. Mint pesto, sun-dried tomato pesto, spinach pesto, and good old-fashioned basil pesto. I will turn most of my loved veggies and herbs into pesto when given the opportunity.
And I did this today. I recently made the yummiest asparagus ravioli and after tasting the filling for them, I decided that my next pasta-asparagus adventure would be this pesto.
Making Orecchiette Pasta with Asparagus Pesto
This dish is easy to make. And it doesn’t require much in the way of ingredients either which is ideal. It is also a really delicious and so minimal effort yields amazing results and that makes this recipe a keeper!
To start, I bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the asparagus. I cook the asparagus and then pluck them out and set them into an icebath to cool down. Then, I add the pasta to the same pot of water (why wash more dishes when you don’t have to??)
While the pasta is boiling, I chop the asparagus, reserving the tips for plating-cause they’re the prettiest part of asparagus, aren’t they?
The rest of the asparagus goes into a food processor with parmesan, pinenuts, parsley or basil, olive oil and salt and pepper. I blitz them until it is nice and smooth.
When the pasta is cooked, I drain it, return it to the pot (again, why make more dirty dishes to wash?) and add the pesto sauce and asparagus tips. I toss everything together, plate it and topped with more parm. Voila! A delicious pasta meal is served!
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Orecchiette Pasta with Asparagus Pesto
- 1 bunch asparagus woody ends trimmed
- 450 g orecchiette pasta uncooked
- 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese + more for serving
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or basil leaves (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the asparagus to the pot and cook for a few minutes until tender. Remove and place in an ice bath to stop the cooking process.
- Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to package directions.
- Cut the asparagus spears into thirds, reserving the tips for serving.
- Place the rest of the asparagus in a food processor. Add Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, olive oil, parsley or basil, and salt and pepper. Puree until smooth.
- Drain pasta and return to pot. Add the asparagus pesto and asparagus tips and toss to coat everything evenly. Spoon into pasta bowls and top with additional Parmesan cheese.
Note: Metric ingredient measurements are provided as a courtesy using a third-party calculator and are rounded to the nearest unit. The recipes provided on this site have not been tested with metric measurements and their accuracy cannot be verified.
The nutritional information provided is based on third-party calculations and is an estimate only. Accurate nutritional facts will vary based on the particular brands used, portion sizes, measurement accuracy and more.