Carbs smothered in pesto is a beautiful thing. Being a proud pesto fiend, I am always looking for unique ways to rev it up. Pesto is typically a sauce consisting of olive oil, pine nuts, Parmesan, salt, pepper and the main star, basil. However, I decided to try giving asparagus the spotlight this time. Yes, asparagus. Using one of my favorite veggies in this way gives the pesto a fluffy consistency, creamy taste and vibrant color. I substituted a more typical protein for meaty and delicious portabello mushrooms sautéed in garlic butter. A Parmesan and pine nut garnish finish the dish with beautiful, nutty notes and playful textures. The best part is that the recipe is super simple and tasty; perfect for summer and sure to excite anyone’s taste buds!
- ½ pound of asparagus
- 5 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
- ½ cup of roasted pine nuts*
- ½ cup of Parmesan cheese*
- ¾ cup of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound of pasta of your choice
- 2 tbs. butter
- 2 large portabello mushrooms, sliced
- 1-2 shallots, thinly sliced
- Salt and pepper to taste
* Roast extra pine nuts and set aside extra Parmesan for topping the dish
- Cook the pasta in boiling water for about 10-12 minutes until al dente, and set aside.
- Blanch the asparagus by bringing water to a boil and letting the asparagus soak for about 2-3 minutes at which point they will become bright green and tender.
- Put asparagus, half of the garlic, roasted pine nuts, Parmesan, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste in a food processor and grind into a buttery, fluffy consistency.
- Heat up a large pot and melt butter. Add the remaining garlic and let cook until a light, golden brown. Add the sliced shallots and mushrooms and let them sweat in the garlic butter until soft and sweet.
- Once the shallots and mushrooms are tender, add in the pasta and pesto. Mix together to muddle the flavors.
- Serve hot and enjoy!