Artichoke Aparagus Pesto

April 24, 2009 § Leave a comment


I like to bulk up my pasta dishes with vegetables. Today I shredded a spare zucchini and blanched it in the pasta water for about 1 minute until it just barely cooked and was still a little al dente.  I didn’t write this step into the recipe, but wanted to draw attention to it up top.  It’s an easy-peasy way to add a few extra vegetables into a dish and by shredding, the zucchini goes by unnoticed.

1 can artichoke hearts, rinsed
1 bunch asparagus
2 medium garlic cloves
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
1/8 – 1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup chopped basil


*For gluten-sensitive eaters use brown rice or quinoa pasta.



1.  Heat two pots of water on the stove.  When boiling, add pasta to one pot and cook according to directions on the package.  In the other, steam chopped asparagus about 2 minutes; they will turn bright green.

2.  Heat a skillet on medium-high heat on the stove.  Toast pine nuts until slightly golden and become fragrant, about 3-4 minutes.  Watch closely and stir the entire time so they don’t burn.

3.  Drain artichoke hearts; place in blender.  Add pine nuts, grated parmesan cheese, basil and asparagus when cooked.  Blend with an eighth of a cup olive oil.  If you need a little more liquid to break up the bulk, add additional olive oil or water, one tablespoon at a time.

4.  Drain pasta and serve with a generous amount of pesto.  Garnish with Parmesan cheese and a few basil leaves.

Diet Notes: Gluten-free (see asterisk)


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