I promised you guys a recipe using pesto, earlier this week, and am so excited to share one of our current favourites!
I’ve made this 4 times. 4 times!!! That doesn’t happen very often around here. I’m not a pasta-lover, but it’s probably on my husband’s “top 3” list, so we’ve been trying to find ways where we can enjoy the same-ish pasta meals with mutual satisfaction. This particular pasta experience was born turning an asparagus-pesto pasta for him into a pasta salad (super heavy on the veg) for me. I mixed my pasta with zucchini noodles to veg it up and sliced up some fresh nectarines, which totally blew this away!
Let’s be honest. Nothing replaces freshly made wheat pasta, cooked al dente in well-salted water, with a copious amount of good extra virgin olive oil. I won’t pretend that brown rice pasta is the same, but when I first discovered it, I was totally surprised with how pretty darn good it is, especially when the focus is on the other ingredients vs. the actual pasta. I have a hard time digesting regular wheat pasta (which is mostly why I’m not a fan), but the brown rice pasta, in small amounts, is totally cool with my belly. This brand is my go-to, as it’s super easy to cook, doesn’t get mushy, and tastes awesome!
- ~200g dry or ~300g fresh pasta (I like this brown rice pasta), cooked al dente in salted water
- 1 lb of asparagus, trimmed
- 2 small firm but ripe peaches or nectarines, thinly sliced
- 1 zucchini, shaved into ribbons or noodles with a regular or julienne vegetable peeler
- 1/4 cup pesto
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil + 1 tsp. for asparagus
- 3/4 tsp. salt + more for asparagus
- 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp. toasted sunflower seeds, for garnish
- basil leaves, for garnish
- Preheat the grill and use your hands to lightly coat the asparagus stalks with 1 tsp. of olive oil and a generous pinch of salt.
- While the pasta is cooking, grill the asparagus on high heat for a few minutes on each side so that it's a tad charred in spots, but still retains some bite.
- Once the pasta is cooked, run it under cold water to cool it down and stop the cooking proecss. Set aside to drain.
- Slice grilled asparagus into 1 inch bite sizes pieces.
- Combine the pasta with zucchini noodles, asparagus, nectarines, pesto, olive oil, salt, and lemon juice and toss to combine. Taste and adjust with more salt and lemon juice, if necessary.
- Garnish with seeds and basil leaves.