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!
Pesto Pasta with Asparagus, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Arugula
Source: pasta adapted from Gimme Some Oven, pesto is an Emily Bites Original
14.5 oz box of whole wheat or multigrain pasta (I used Barilla Plus Farfalle)
1 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 oz sundried tomatoes, julienne cut and packaged dry (I used Bella Sun Luci)
2 c asparagus, snapped into 2” pieces
½ c pesto sauce (see recipe below – recipe makes 1 cup, use half)
3 c arugula
1 oz Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Pesto Sauce (makes about 1 cup, use half for recipe – save half for later!):
2 c (packed) fresh basil leaves
¼ c 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 c extra virgin olive oil
1 T lemon juice
1 T water
¼ t 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+
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.
Yields 8 (1-1/2 cup) servings. Weight Watchers Points Plus: 8 per serving