Pesto Pasta with Peas and Asparagus
with strawberry, fennel, arugula salad
If you made fresh pesto ahead of time, this summery pasta dish will come together in a flash. The salad on the side gets balance with strawberries for sweetness and fennel for a naturally spicy bite.
- Pine nuts - 2 Tbsp (sub walnuts or pecans)
- Garlic - 1 clove , peeled
- Cheese, parmesan (opt) - 1 oz , grated
- Basil, fresh - 1 1/2 oz
- Lemon juice - 2 tsp
- Oil, olive - 3 Tbsp
Pesto Pasta with Peas and Asparagus:
- Peas, frozen - 1 1/2 cups
- Pasta, uncooked shells - 8 oz (sub any small pasta shape)
- Asparagus - 10 oz , 1" / 2.5 cm pieces
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Basil Pesto (ingredients listed separately) - ~1/4 cup
- Cheese, parmesan - 2 oz , grated
Strawberry, Fennel, and Arugula Salad:
- Vinegar, apple cider - 1 Tbsp
- Mustard, Dijon - 2 tsp
- Honey - 1 tsp
- Oil, olive - 3 Tbsp
- Fennel, small - 1 bulb , thinly sliced
- Strawberries - 1 pint , quartered
- Arugula - 5 oz
- Black pepper (opt) - for serving
- Peas - Defrost peas.
- Pasta - Cook pasta according to package directions. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Make pesto - (Skip if pesto was made ahead for Monday.) Toast nuts in a dry skillet or frying pan until fragrant and golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Peel garlic cloves. Place nuts, garlic, cheese (portion for pesto, if using), basil leaves, and lemon juice in a food processor. Pulse until all ingredients are well chopped. With food processor running, drizzle in olive oil (portion for pesto) until smooth. Season to taste with some salt and pepper. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Make vinaigrette - Whisk together cider vinegar, mustard, and honey. Add olive oil (portion for salad) while whisking. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Asparagus - Trim asparagus and slice into 1” / 2.5 cm pieces. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
- Fennel / Strawberries - Prep as directed.
- Combine fennel, strawberries, and arugula in a bowl.
- Heat a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add cooking oil and then asparagus. Saute asparagus until tender, 4 to 6 minutes (if using very thick spears, add a couple minutes more).
- Add peas and cooked pasta to asparagus and stir for 1 minute to warm everything up. Remove from heat and stir in pesto. Taste and season with some salt and pepper.
- Toss salad with vinaigrette and top with black pepper.
- Serve pasta with cheese (portion for pasta) grated over top. Enjoy pasta with salad on the side.