Artichoke Aparagus Pesto

April 24, 2009 § Leave a comment

artichokeasparaguspesto5

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.

Ingredients:
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
water

pasta*

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

artichokeasparaguspesto_quartet

Method:

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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