Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Local Asparagus, Arugula and Pesto Pasta

Last night I tried a new pasta recipe. I had some local asparagus that I picked up at Nature's Corner on Seacliff Drive in Leamington, and I was just itching to do something different with it. I saw this recipe while zipping around on the web, and thought it sounded perfect!

I made a few adjustments to the recipe, for instance, instead of making fresh pesto (which I love), I used up some jarred tomato pesto that I had leftover from the mushroom and leek pizza I made last week. I added some basil from our garden and grated in a clove of garlic to suit my taste.

I had 2 partially used boxes of whole wheat penne. How annoying! So I used what was left in both boxes and made some space in my cupboard (win!).

I had to buy some arugula, and unfortunately it wasn't available loose (so I couldn't just buy a handful or so), but I plan to make a steak salad this week so I can mix what's left into the baby greens I have on hand.

I am a fan of asparagus, and it's good for you too (with the whole having folate and vitamin K) but I wish I could say the same for arugula. I don't HATE it, I just don't love it. It's a great little leaf though, full of calcium, iron, and vitamins A, C and K, so if I can find a way to use it, I do.

So here's what I did:

Cut the asparagus into 1" pieces and steamed it barely tender. In another pot, I cooked the pasta (though I'm sure I could have just popped the asparagus in the pasta water as it would have floated and I could have fished it out when it was done).

In a bowl I plopped a few tablespoons of jarred tomato pesto (President's Choice brand in this case), chopped up a few basil leaves, and grated in a small clove of garlic.

I drained the pasta, threw it back in the pot with the pesto and the asparagus, tossed in a couple of handfuls of arugula and stirred to combine. Drizzled on a touch of olive oil to loosen the sauce up a bit as well. It didn't need salt (probably because the pesto was perfectly seasoned) but I did add some fresh ground pepper.

I had a couple of herbed foccacia rolls in the fridge from a grilled veggie sandwich I made last week, so I sliced them, brushed them with olive oil, and toasted them in the oven.

The pasta and toasts were topped with a bit of freshly grated parmesan, and we dug in.

Asparagus Arugula Pesto Pasta

The Verdict?

  I liked it. It had good, balanced flavours.
Quinn ate it right up. That surprised me as the arugula is bitter. He did, however, leave the asparagus bits. Probably didn't like the consistancy.
Don liked the flavours, but he prefers his pasta to be "saucy", so it wasn't to his liking.

I'll probably keep the recipe as an occasional meal, but it won't go into "The Rotation"

1 comment:

Rhyannon said...

That looks wonderful!