Monday, April 5, 2010

Pasta with Asparagus Pesto

Asparagus season is upon us! Here is one more recipe for you to add to your collection.  Why is asparagus so popular? Here is what Wikipedia has to say about it:
Asparagus is low in calories, contains no cholesterol and is healthy as it is very low in sodium. It is also a good source of vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium and zinc, and a very good source of dietary fiber, protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, rutin, niacin, folic acid, iron, phosphorus, potassium, copper, manganese and selenium. The amino acid asparagine gets its name from asparagus, the asparagus plant being rich in this compound.
 So enjoy this wonderful pasta!  You deserve it!

1 1/2 pounds asparagus, trimmed
1/4 c. olive oil
2 T. pine nuts, roasted
1/4 t. fresh ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, crushed with press
3/4 c. packed fresh basil leaves
1 t. salt
1/3 c. Pecorino Romano cheese, plus additional for serving
1 pound orechiette or medium shell past

If using thin asparagus, cut each stalk crosswise in half; if using medium asparagus, cut stalks into 1 1/2 inch pieces.
In 12-inch skillet, heat 1 inch water to boiling over high heat.
Add asparagus and cook 5 minutes or until tender.
Remove and reserve 1/2 c. of asparagus cooking water; drain the asparagus.

Set aside 1 cup thin asparagus stalks or 1/2 cup medium asparagus tips.
In blender at low speed, with center part of cover removed to allow steam to escape, blend remaining asparagus with oil, pine nuts, pepper, garlic, 1/2 cup basil, salt, and reserved asparagus cooking water until almost smooth.
Add Romano cheese and blend until well mixed.

Meanwhile in a large saucepan, cook past as label directs.

Slice remaining basil leaves.
Drain pasta and return to saucepan.
Add asparagus sauce, sliced basil, and reserved asparagus, and toss until evenly mixed.
Serve with additional Romano cheese.

YIESLD: 4 servings
per serving-
  calories - 620
  protein - 21 g
  carbohydrates - 88 g
  total fat - 20 g
  sat. fat - 4 g
  cholesterol - 7 mg
  sodium - 830 mg

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If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Bits, Tales, and Yarns

1 comment:

joey said...

Count me in for this, Jane Marie! Thanks for sharing :)