Sunday, February 12, 2012

Linguine with Roasted Asparagus and Almond Pesto

This is yet another recipe from my current favorite magazine. 

Linguine with Roasted Asparagus and Almond Pesto
Fine Cooking: CookFresh

Yet another mediocre photo which does not do the dish justice...

3/4 lb. asparagus
2 C grape tomatoes
1/4 C olive oil
1/3 C sliced almonds
1/4 C fresh basil leaves
2 Tbs. grated Parmigiano- Reggiano (or similar Parmesan-like cheese)
1 lb. linguine pasta

I 'm a huge fan of garlic, so I would add at least two pretty hefty cloves into the food processor step. When I made this dish it was missing that little kick and I think a little bit of garlic would hit the spot.

Wash and trim the asparagus, breaking off the stems where they naturally crack. Heat the oven to 425 and  drizzle about 2 tbs of olive oil onto a cookie sheet. Arrange the asparagus on one half and the tomatoes on the other, and sprinkle each with a bit of salt and toss to coat. Roast on the top rack for about 20 minutes, until the tomatoes begin to shrivel and the asparagus is tender.
Meanwhile, spread the almonds out on a second baking sheet and toast them on the bottom rack of the oven for about 10 minutes, tossing occasionally, until golden brown.

When the asparagus is done, chop off the tips and set aside along with about 2 tbs. of the toasted almonds. Place the asparagus stalks and the remaining almonds into a food processor with the basil, cheese, (garlic), and about 3 tbs. olive oil. Pulse the mixture until a thick paste forms, then transfer to the bowl you will serve the pasta in.

Cook the pasta in well-salted boiling water until al dente. When the pasta is about half done, take about 3/4 C of the water and save it to add to the sauce. Drain the pasta and toss it with the pesto. Add as much of the reserved pasta water as necessary (probably about 1/2 C) to achieve a saucy consistency. Toss in the asparagus tips, tomatoes, and reserved almonds. Season with black pepper and salt to taste.

Serve with freshly grated cheese and enjoy!

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