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Archive for May 12th, 2011

I saw this first in Chow.com, and adapted it to be nondairy. Also used this whole grain pasta, which I love, and used canned artichokes, which is probably a travesty compared to the beautiful photos of the artichoke preparation on the Chow.com site. But I made this after work, was tired and hungry, and I thought it came out delicious anyway.

Pasta with pesto, asparagus, and artichokes

For the pesto:

1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more as needed

1 medium clove garlic, minced

1 cup packed fresh basil leaves

1/4 cup packed fresh Italian parsley leaves

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup grated soy parmesan

For the pasta:

8 asparagus spears, tough ends removed

3 tablespoons olive oil

kosher salt

freshly ground black pepper

1 12-ounce can artichoke hearts, packed in water, drained and halved

10 ounce dried pasta, long strands

soy parmesan, for serving

For the pesto:

Place the pine nuts in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment and process until finely ground, about 20 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl using a rubber spatula. Add the salt and pepper, garlic, basil, and parsley; process until pureed, about 15 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

With the processor running, slowly add the oil in a thin stream until incorporated. Add the parmesan and pulse a few times to incorporate. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, as needed.

For the pasta:

Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the asparagus and blanch til crisp-tender, about 30 seconds. Using tongs, remove the asparagus to an ice water bath to cool. Keep the pot of water at a boil for the pasta. Transfer the asparagus from the ice bath to a cutting board. Using a vegetable peeler, shave each spear lengthwise into thin strips, then cut the strips in half crosswise. Place in a bowl and set aside.

Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente. Reserve 1 1/2 cups pasta water, then drain the pasta.

Return the pot to medium-high heat, and add the pesto, 3/4 cup of the reserved pasta water, and the asparagus strips. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Add the pasta, toss to combine, and bring to a simmer. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.

I served this in an attractive plain white bowl, and garnished the top with the artichoke halves, sprinkled with soy parmesan.

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