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May 05

Pesto Pasta with Asparagus, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Arugula

I’ve always been of the opinion that almost any dish could be made better with pesto, so needless to say I was very excited to make this. It didn’t disappoint! I decided to try my hand at making my own pesto and now that I see how quick and simple it is I can’t believe I’ve never made it before! This pasta was delicious and the basil, asparagus and arugula made it taste really fresh. Perfect for Spring! I decided to make it vegetarian, but you could certainly add chicken if you like. The leftover pesto (the pasta only uses half of the pesto) can be used as a dip, a sandwich condiment, a topping for chicken or steak – get creative! It also freezes well, so you could always save it for the next time you make this dish. If you love pesto like I do, trust me, you’ll want to!

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Pesto Pasta with Asparagus, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Arugula

Yield: 8 (1-1/2 cup) servings



  • 14.5 oz box of whole wheat or multigrain pasta (I used Barilla Plus Farfalle)
  • 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 oz sundried tomatoes, julienne cut and packaged dry (I used Bella Sun Luci)
  • 2 cups asparagus, snapped into 2” pieces
  • ½ cup pesto sauce (see recipe below – recipe makes 1 cup, use half)
  • 3 cups arugula
  • 1 oz Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Pesto Sauce (makes about 1 cup, use half for recipe – save half for later!):

  • 2 cups (packed) fresh basil leaves
  • ¼ cup pine nuts (pine nuts are delicious and traditional, but you can use other nuts such as walnuts or almonds if you like)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • salt & pepper to taste


Pesto Instructions: Place pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium-high heat and cook a few minutes until slightly browned, stirring occasionally. Place all ingredients into a food processor and process until a paste is formed. Yields about 1 cup. 1 T = 2 P+

Pasta Directions:

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions and then drain.
  2. While pasta is cooking, bring the olive oil to a medium heat and add asparagus. Cook for 2 minutes and then add sun-dried tomatoes. Cook an additional 5 minutes or until asparagus is cooked. Remove from heat.
  3. In a large serving bowl, combine pasta with asparagus, sun-dried tomatoes, pesto and arugula and stir until sauce evenly coats the other ingredients. Serve with Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

Weight Watchers Freestyle SmartPoints:
8 per serving (SP calculated using the recipe builder on

Weight Watchers Points Plus:
8 per serving (P+ calculated using the recipe builder on

303 calories, 39 g carbs, 5 g sugar, 11 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 13 g protein, 5 g fiber (from

Pasta adapted from Gimme Some Oven, pesto is an Emily Bites Original



4 Responses to “Pesto Pasta with Asparagus, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Arugula”

  1. #
    Linda — May 5, 2011 @ 11:51 am

    Thanks for making this delicious dish for us for dinner. It was yummy!

  2. #
    DisneyBabies — May 5, 2011 @ 12:50 pm

    Looks delicious! I was planning to do a pesto on Friday.. might do this one now!

  3. #
    Anonymous — May 23, 2012 @ 5:20 am

    I am making mine without the arugala but I add olives and crumpled blue cheese.

    • emilybites replied: — May 24th, 2012 @ 12:36 am

      Sounds yummy!

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