I can’t get over how pretty this dish is. I wanted to make a super springy pasta, and this is definitely it. There are peas in the pesto, which gives it a nice consistency. I added mint to the pesto as well. Just a little bit of mint really brings out all of the other herb flavors. I also used pistachios instead of pine nuts or walnuts, which are more commonly found in pesto. I just love anything involving pistachios. I then folded asparagus and fresh spinach into the pasta while it was still warm, and added a little bit of parm.
I also used a different pasta than I normally would. I used Trader Joe’s lemon pepper pappardelle pasta. It comes dried with all of their other pastas, but it has cracked black pepper and lemon infused into the pasta itself. It is SO good. Especially in this dish because the flavors are so fresh. I highly recommend it!
8 oz. package pappardelle pasta (I used Trader Joe’s lemon pepper pappardelle)
1 bunch of asparagus, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
2 c. fresh spinach leaves
2 c. peas, steamed (I just microwaved my frozen peas in a little water for about 2 min.)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 c. basil, chopped
1/2 c. flat leaf Italian parsley, chopped
2 T. mint, chopped
1/2 c. shelled unsalted pistachios
1/2 c. freshly grated parmesan cheese
pinch of red pepper flake
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/3 c. olive oil
salt and pepper
Begin by making the pesto. Combine peas, garlic, basil, parsley, mint, pistachios, parmesan, red pepper flake, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a food processor, and pulse 15-20 times until ingredients are combined. Then, slowly stream in olive oil and let processor run for about a minute until pesto is smooth and creamy. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired.
Next, prep the veggies. Heat a small pot of water to boil for the asparagus pieces. Once it boils, blanch them for about 4-5 minutes until tender. Drain. Heat a large bot of water to boil for the pasta, and cook according to package directions or until al dente. You might want to reserve about a 1/4 c. to 1/2 c. of the starchy pasta cooking water in case you want a little more moisture in your pasta (I added a splash). Once pasta is finished, drain, drizzle with olive oil, and place back into pot. Add asparagus, spinach, splash of pasta water, and about 1 1/4 c. of pesto (you will have leftover). Feel free to add however much pesto you want, but I found that amount was perfect. Toss ingredients together until spinach wilts a bit and pesto coats the pasta ribbons. Season with additional salt and pepper, and parmesan cheese. Enjoy!