Sutliff Girl's Cookspot

This month...


Farmer's Market Inspiration

Appetizer: Megan
Side Dish: Lauren
Main Dish: Mom
Dessert: Amy

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Catching Up - May's Main Dish

After coming down from such a relaxing and fulfilling vacation week with my family and friends, I am trying to catch up on things neglected. I had the main dish in May, and keeping with my style, wanted to post a yummy meatless meal - Asparagus and Pesto Pasta. This is a very simple, tasty and quick weeknight meal (which makes me feel bad, as Mom's appetizers looked so delicious and exotic!). I came about making this in an attempt to use up some of the delicious spring veggies I could not resist at the DuPont Circle farmers market the Sunday prior. It was my first farmer's market of the season and I left with a bag full of rhubarb, spring onions, asparagus, exotic salad greens, and "Mountain Top Blue", an aged goat blue cheese from a goat farm in Maryland's Allegheny plateau. But the yummiest item I bought was a vegan Green Garlic pesto. Green garlic is a special spring treat that looks like a green onion but tastes like the creamiest, yummiest garlic you have ever tried.

The pesto was yummy enough to eat out of the container with a spoon, but I knew Pat would rather not eat it that way! So I went onto MyRecipes and put "asparagus, pesto, pasta" into their recipe search engine and found my inspiration from the below five-star rated recipe for Gnocchi with Shrimp, Asparagus, and Pesto:

I used the green garlic pesto in lieu of their pesto recipe, but the dish would be great with any pesto, store bought or your favorite homemade recipe, and I used whole wheat linguine vice the gnocchi. I would never post a gnocchi dish on the blog, as I know mom is not a fan of its uber gummy texture, but I also think the hearty taste of the whole wheat pasta holds up better against the bold pesto flavors. I left out the shrimp because I did not have it on hand (and wanted to keep it vegetarian) although I think it would be a great and healthy addition to the recipe. No photo was taken but will definitely make a point to do so for all future monthly posts.

Asparagus and Pesto Pasta


2 quarts water
1 package of your favorite whole wheat pasta
4 cups (1-inch) slices asparagus (about 1 pound)
1/2 -3/4 cup of your favorite pesto
4 tablespoons shredded or grated Parmesan cheese


Bring 2 quarts water to a boil in a Dutch oven. Add pasta to pan and cook according to package directions. Remove pasta from water and place in large serving bowl; toss with a splash of olive oil to prevent sticking. Add asparagus to boiling pasta water and cook 5 minutes. Drain. Add asparagus to pasta. Add pesto to asparagus pasta mixture and toss to coat. Serve immediately with a tablespoon of Parmesan sprinkled a top each serving.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 cups)

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