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Spinach Pasta with Asparagus Pesto


  • 1/4 cup pistachios, or 3 tablespoons pine nuts

  • 1 pound thin asparagus, ends trimmed, coarsely chopped

  • 1 cup loosely packed mixed herbs: parsley, mint, and tarragon or basil

  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

  • 2 cloves garlic, grated

  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

  • Salt and pepper

  • About 1/3 cup EVOO

  • 1 pound spinach fettuccine, spaghetti, or garganelli


Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet, toast the nuts.

Transfer the toasted nuts to a food processor and add the asparagus, herbs, cheese, garlic, and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper. With the machine on, drizzle in about 1/4 cup EVOO; stream in a few more tablespoons as needed to form a smooth pesto. Transfer the pesto to a large serving bowl.

Salt the boiling water and cook the pasta to al dente. Before draining, ladle out about a cup of the starchy pasta cooking water and add to the pesto in the bowl. Drain the pasta and add to the bowl, tossing with tongs 1 or 2 minutes for the flavors to absorb.