Recently I shared that I’d dreamed up an asparagus version of pesto, and the recipe I came up with is quite remarkable, if I say so myself. There were so many choices with the pesto ingredients, but I decided on almonds for the nuts, and to keep the pesto herb-free. I thought about a little fresh mint at first, but I decided to just let the fresh asparagus shine.
And shine it did. It’s not a super strong pesto, especially compared to a basil variety, but it full of flavor from the almonds and garlic as well. I’m very happy with the recipe. I could just spread it on warm bread and eat it like that.
But it’s probably not surprising that I chose to toss this pesto with pasta. But I did something a little different. I’d just made some fresh ricotta the day before (yes, it will be in a future post), and I decided to mix the pesto with the fresh ricotta. It turned out perfectly. The pasta would have been delicious simply tossed with the ricotta-less pesto, with lots of grated Parmesan, but I just wanted to treat this pesto differently.
Asparagus Pesto-Ricotta Pasta
1 – 12 ounce package of your choice of pasta
Approximately 10 ounces of asparagus pesto
An equal amount of fresh ricotta or farmers’ cheese
Cook your pasta according to package directions. Have you ever used one of these gadgets? It’s a rubbery thing that you place on top of your pot and it keeps the water from overflowing. Since I invariably boil over water when I cook pasta, I’ve gotten pretty good at always using this thing.
Drain the pasta and set aside.
In a large bowl, add the asparagus pesto and the ricotta cheese.
Mix them together with a spoon. I didn’t try to blend them together too much; I like the texture of the ricotta.
Add the warm pasta and toss to coat the pasta completely.
I served the pasta sprinkled with grated Parmesan, alongside a pan-fried salmon steak.
The combination was really good.
I think I could have also chopped the mint leaves and sprinkled them on top as well, but I didn’t.
verdict: I will make asparagus pesto again, and again. The only difference is that the pesto by itself could taste a little more like asparagus. So I might add a little more asparagus next time, but keep the other ingredients the same. Mixed with the ricotta, the pesto is just a creamy, flavorful mixture with a hint of asparagus. It’s quite delicious, and would be a wonderful side dish to any protein, or simply served as is, with a tomato salad.