After what seemed like the longest week ever, my husband, our kids and I piled into the car and drove to Chicago on Saturday so I could take care of some personal things. I knew my husband was tired but he didn’t say a word and drove the entire 2.5 hours to Chicago, dropped me off and took the girls to the Navy Pier for rides and shaved ice.
Sometimes I wonder how I got so lucky with him. He’s very good to me and is a man of action. If he says he’s going to do something, he does it. I love this about him. And after I returned home from BlogHer Food in Miami, my mom, who was here helping to take care of the girls in my absence, told me that Paul had spent several hours outside over the weekend doing lawn work, weeding, mowing the lawn and trimming the bushes. I could tell she was having a “I love my son-in-law” type moment. My husband is the best. Our marriage is no where near perfect but we understand each other, we support each other and we love each other.
I love him so much that I made this spaghetti with asparagus pesto for him. This vegetarian pesto dish which he slightly covered in sriracha (that’s ok) but still ate the whole thing without mentioning the fact that there was no meat in the dish.
The routine has been this: if we have steak or meat one night, Paul knows to expect a completely meatless, vegetarian dish the next. Makes perfect sense right? I think so .. and I love that I can cook for him . . not just the foods he loves but also the foods that are good for him.
Plus, I had a huge bunch of fresh asparagus in my refrigerator and a bag of walnuts just calling my name.
I got the idea to blend the asparagus from this post and then came across this recipe on Food 52. I mean an asparagus purée?!!! Why not! This is delicious and brilliant and works wonderfully on crostini as well!
So, I added a heaping 1/4 cup of walnuts, a handful of cilantro and some salt . . and topped the pasta with more walnuts and pecorino! This flavorful asparagus pesto is a wonderful way to take advantage of all the seasonal asparagus you can still get your hands on.
If you’re an asparagus lover, you need to try this! I hope you enjoy!
Spaghetti with Asparagus Pesto and Walnuts
- 8 ounces dried spaghetti
- 1 garlic clove peeled and minced
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil; split
- 1 pound asparagus spears; with the hard ends discarded and cut into 1-inch pieces
- Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- big handful of fresh cilantro
- heaping 1/4 cup walnuts + more for garnish and topping
- Zest of one lemon
- freshly shaved pecorino cheese
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Season with salt, then add the spaghetti. Cook according to package instructions to "al dente." Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water, then drain and rinse the pasta. Set aside.
- Heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and garlic in a large pan over medium heat for about 2 minutes, stirring often. Add the asparagus pieces (MINUS the tips), salt, pepper, and 1/3 cup of the reserved pasta water. Cover the pan and cook the asparagus for about 5 minutes or until tender.
- Add the cooked asparagus to your blender or food processor and purée until smooth. Add in the cilantro, walnuts and season with salt and pepper. Blend well until smooth.
- Add puréed asparagus mixture back to pan, along with the asparagus tips. Mix in the cooked pasta, the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, lemon zest, and a little more pasta water as needed to keep the sauce loose. Heat on low for a minute or two to allow pasta to absorb some of the sauce. Serve immediately, topped with more chopped walnuts and pecorino cheese.
Recipe adapted from Food 52.
I absolutely love the bits of walnuts in this pesto and topped on the pasta. For me, the walnuts, along with the asparagus make this dish! I hope you give this one a try soon!
Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post but I did receive a box of Diamond walnuts, pecans and pistachios to sample. All opinions expressed here are 100% my own.