I am so excited to share the first guest post on Healthy Little Vittles Blog by Roberta from Healthy Little Cravings!
Spring is here, what’s better than a super tasty vegan asparagus pesto pasta to make your palate party? Team asparagus! Let me start by saying that I am fully convinced there are two teams out there: team 1 LOVES asparagus, team 2 can’t stand it. Well, I definitely am #teamasparagus. When asparagus season comes, I start doing ‘everything-asparagus’: risotto, salads, raw salads (did you know you can eat them raw and marinated with lemon?), in pasta, simply roasted or steamed asparagus. You can also make amazingly tasty and easy vegan quiches with them or put them on pizzas. Asparagus is extremely versatile! Not to mention all the benefits this vegetable has: rich in fibers, vitamins, minerals, full of antioxidants…
So, to celebrate this gift from Mother Nature, I will keep making asparagus-based recipes until the season is over!
About this vegan asparagus pesto pasta…
This simple vegan asparagus pesto pasta is just amazing, I can’t find any other words to describe it. You know when you casually combine a few ingredients and you come up with a killer recipe? Sometimes I wonder how this can be possible: mixing a few natural healthy ingredients and achieve incredible flavors. When I tried this pesto for the first time I was so surprised by its delicate but still so tasty flavor. The fresh basil leaves give an amazing contribution and remind of Italian pesto alla Genovese sauce. Believe me, I am Italian, I’m so addicted to it!
Food brings back such good memories. I live in Northern Italy, in a small town in the province of Vicenza (region of Veneto, the same as Venice, to be clear). In this area, we have an amazing asparagus variety – from Bassano del Grappa – that my mom always buys to make wonderful risotto: they’re big and white because they are never exposed to sunlight (check this still life by painter Francois Bonvin!).
My town and Bassano del Grappa are just 35/40 km distant and when Spring begins, you will notice all these little trucks starting to pop up on the roadside – from my town to Bassano – to sell these big white asparagus! Asparagus always brings back this memory, I love how food can do this!
Roberta is a food photographer, recipe developer and cinemagraph artist based in Northern Italy. Healthy Little Cravings, her blog, is a source of inspiration for those who are looking for wholesome nutritious recipes and want to live a healthy mindful lifestyle, with no stress due to tough sacrifices. Check out all the recipes and mindfulness content on the Healthy Little Cravings blog.
- 200 grams raw asparagus
- pinch salt
- pinch pepper
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 60 grams olive oil
- 25 grams basil
- 30 grams pistachios
- Bring a pot full of water to a boil, we will need it for the asparagus heads
- Start by cleaning the fresh asparagus: gently rinse them under running cool water. With a knife chop off the woody ends (about a couple of centimeters/1 inch) and the heads (set these aside and reserve for garnish). Then, with a vegetable peeler, peel the outer part away (but do not peel all the way up to the heads)
- Parboil the heads for 3 minutes or until they're tender but they still have the intense green color, set them aside. Then boil the rest of asparagus for 10 minutes
- Note: do not waste the asparagus water! My mom always saves unsalted water from boiled veggies and gives it to flowers! It is an amazing source of vitamins for our plants! Or...drink it: it's an amazing diuretic!
- In a food processor: blend all the ingredients except for the olive oil. Start pulsing and gradually add the oil until it's finely chopped or pureed
- Make the pasta: bring a pot of water to a rolling boil, put some salt and your favorite pasta (spaghetti or linguine are the best option in this case, believe me!) in it and cook according to package instructions. Before draining, save some water
- In a pan, sauté pesto and pasta together then add some pasta water to make it extremely creamy
The queen of the tips: to make this vegan asparagus pesto pasta even more interesting, top with some lemon zest or almond slices