There is nothing to discuss here, really. I love asparagus. I love pesto. I love pasta. My initially intended dinner wasn’t ready in time, so here is a quickly whipped asparagus pesto to save the day.
Served with spaghetti as an emergency dinner option, but that’s not the only use, as you may guess: chicken, veal, pork chops, eggs, or even spectacular sandwich (I am soooo trying this one day)… Main idea is using asparagus in place of other greens. And that, in itself, is a wonderful thing.
Yields approximately 3 generous cups of sauce
- 1 lbs of fresh asparagus, trimmed
- 1/4 cup pignoli or pine nuts
- 1/2 lemon – zest and juice
- 3-4 cloves garlic
- 1/2 packed fresh basil leaves
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
Bring water to a boil in a pot. Add a good pinch of salt. Add asparagus and boil for 3-4 minutes, until tender but not mushy.
While asparagus is cooking, toast pine nuts in a dry skillet, tossing or stirring them frequently to prevent scorching. Let cool until manageable.
Combine cooked asparagus, pine nuts, lemon zest and juice, garlic, basil, salt and pepper in a processor and mince until smooth. While processor is running, add olive oil slowly, until pesto reaches pancake batter thickness.
Add Parmesan and process a few seconds more.