Tuesday, May 27, 2014

2-on-Tuesday: Pesto Pasta with Asparagus

Let's say you have company coming OR host a girlfriend gathering OR your in-laws are in townYou want to serve something special to special people!

Below is a lovely offering posted by Chung-Ah on Pinterest ever so slightly edited to reflect my taste. She has a tasty website, too, using "simple, fresh ingredients, and transforming them into sophisticated and elegant meals for the everyday home cook."

Pesto Pasta with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Roasted Asparagus

8 ozs medium-size Shell Pasta, cooked
1 lb Asparagus, prepared for cooking (click here for a quick 32 second video)
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
S&P, to taste
1/2 cup Basil Pesto (see recipe below)
1/3 cup Sun Dried Tomatoes, drained & julienned
1/3 cup Mozzarella, shredded
**optional: shrimp or chicken breast
  • Asparagus can be roasted on the grill --which I did-- or in the oven. Drizzle with olive oil, salt & pepper. Toss to combine. Cook 8-12 minutes. Let cool before cutting into 1" pieces.
TIP: If using the grill, simply shape heavy foil into a cookie sheet pan. Place asparagus on foil pan on the hot grill. When asparagus is tender, but not crisp and turns bright green, slide the foil "sheet pan" onto a real cookie sheet and transfer to kitchen. If using the oven, preheat to 450 degrees. Line sheet pan with parchment paper or foil. Cook using the same instructions for the grilled version.
  • If you want to add shrimp, drizzle with oil, salt & pepper and grill or oven-roast until pink (apprx 8-10 minutes) on a sheet pan similar to the asparagus. Be sure to remove tails before combining with pasta. If using chicken, plan to cook for 40 minutes or until inner temp registers 170 degrees on a meat thermometer. Then, dice or serve along with pasta.
  • In a large bowl, combine cooked pasta, cooked asparagus, pesto, sun dried tomatoes and mozzarella (and shrimp or chicken, if using).
  • Serve with an Italian bread!
Basil Pesto

3/4 to 1 cup Fresh Basil Leaves
2 cloves Garlic
3 tablespoons Pine Nuts
1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/3 cup Olive Oil
  • Using a food processor, process all ingredients, at once, adding more olive oil, if needed. 
You're gonna receive rave reviews and an ovation after dinner! Smile and bow graciously! ;)


  1. I'm thinking I DO need to buy one of the big basil plants I saw at Sprouts the other day! I love me some pesto & this recipe looks great!!

    1. I had a basil plant, last year, which gave me fresh basil blessings all summer long!