Pesto can be easily adapted with different veggies and nuts, so feel free to improvise as different produce swings into season. This version purees sweet peas and blanched asparagus with pine nuts, garlic, lemon and parmesan for a delicious pasta sauce to celebrate Spring. This recipe comes to us from Sara of Suburban Spoon.
- 1 small bunch asparagus
- 1 cup fresh peas, shelled
- 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
- 8 ounces whole-wheat penne pasta
- juice from 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
Place a large pot of salted water on the stove over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Prepare a bowl of ice water.
Snap the ends of the asparagus off. Cut the rest of the spears into 1-2 inch pieces. Set half of the spears aside.
Add the other half of the asparagus to the boiling water as well as half of the peas. Set aside the other half of the peas.
Cook the 1st half of the veggies for about 2-3 minutes, or until the asparagus and peas are bright green. Remove the veggies with a slotted spoon and place in the ice water to stop the cooking process. Keep the cooking water on the stove at a rapid boil.
Add the pasta to the boiling water and begin to cook it according to package directions.
Place the blanched asparagus and peas into a food processor. Add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the pine nuts and parmesan. Process while you add the olive oil slowly through the feeding tube.
When the pasta has 2 minutes of cooking time left, add the reserved asparagus and peas to the pasta in its cooking water. Drain and place the pasta and veggies into a bowl. Pour in the pesto from the food processor and toss well. Divide into 6 portions and enjoy!