Volcano Basil Asparagus Spaghetti

Basil Asparagus Spaghetti
This pesto spaghetti is shaped like a volcano and so divine on the palate.

This past summer my family and I traveled all throughout Italy. It had been a destination on my bucket list for many moons, not only for the historical sites but for the delicious food. Italian cuisine sits high amongst my favorites and I couldn’t wait to dig into a plate of authentic pasta. I learned from my Italian excursion that the most simple sauce is always best.

A few years ago I was given the privilege to sit in while Italian chef Lorenzo Boni gave me and two others a few pasta pointers. Number one: Always boil your pasta to “al dente.” No one likes mushy pasta and it will ruin your dish. Tip number two: When your pasta is ready drain and place right into the sauce. Number three: Drizzle a little bit of quality olive oil over the top.

I took these two separate lessons and this is what I came up with.

Buon Appetito!

Ingredients for Basil Asparagus Spaghetti:

  • 3 – ounces fresh basil leaves (about 1 1/2 packed cups)
  • 3 – garlic cloves (peeled)
  • 1 – cups olive oil (plus 2 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 – cup pine nuts (toasted)
  • 2/3 – cup shaved parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 – lemon (juiced)
  • 1 – teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 – teaspoon black pepper
  • 20 –  stalks of asparagus
  • Chili flakes
  • 1- lb. Thick spaghetti

 

Directions:

  1. For the pesto: In a food processor or blender add basil, garlic cloves and 1 cup olive oil. Pulse/blend until smooth.  Take a spatula and scrape down the sides. Add pine nuts, parmesan, lemon juice, sea salt and black pepper pulse/blend some more until smooth. Set to the side.
  2. Preheat oven or toaster oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Line asparagus on a baking sheet, brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to your liking.
  4. Bake asparagus for 10 to 15 minutes depending on how well you like your vegetables cooked. Set to the side.
  5. Bring 4 – 6 quarts of water to boil in a large pot of water.
  6. Add thick spaghetti to boiling water. Boil as as directed on the box for al dente cooking time.
  7.  Drain well and mix pesto sauce into spaghetti.
  8. Garnish with chili flakes, and additional parmesan cheese. Add asparagus to the side of the plate or mix into the pasta.
  9. Serve hot or cold on a plate or in a bowl.
  10. Enjoy!

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