Pasta with Portobello mushrooms and asparagus pesto Taylor Nguyen/Daily Nexus

Pasta with portabello mushrooms and asparagus pesto Taylor Nguyen/Daily Nexus

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


  1. Cook the pasta in boiling water for about 10-12 minutes until al dente, and set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Once the shallots and mushrooms are tender, add in the pasta and pesto. Mix together to muddle the flavors.
  6. Serve hot and enjoy!