Basil Asparagus Spaghetti
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.
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
- 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.
- Preheat oven or toaster oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line asparagus on a baking sheet, brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to your liking.
- Bake asparagus for 10 to 15 minutes depending on how well you like your vegetables cooked. Set to the side.
- Bring 4 – 6 quarts of water to boil in a large pot of water.
- Add thick spaghetti to boiling water. Boil as as directed on the box for al dente cooking time.
- Drain well and mix pesto sauce into spaghetti.
- Garnish with chili flakes, and additional parmesan cheese. Add asparagus to the side of the plate or mix into the pasta.
- Serve hot or cold on a plate or in a bowl.