Asparagus Pesto Recipe | PBS Food

In lieu of leafy greens, this asparagus pesto recipe is a Spring version. (Recipe Credit: Adrianna Adarme of the Fresh Tastes blog)


Yield: 4 servings


  • 1 pound linguine pasta
  • 1/2 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces, plus a few more pieces for garnish
  • 1/2 cup spinach
  • 1/3 finely grated Parmesan-Reggiano, plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 20 pistachios
  • Juice from 1/4 lemon
  • Salt


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop the pasta in the water and cook until al dente, per the package’s instructions, about 9 minutes. Drain, reserving about 1/4 cup of pasta water (this measurement can be eyeballed) and transfer the pasta back to the pot.
  2. Meanwhile (you can do this step and step #1 simultaneously), bring a small pot of water to a simmer. Drop the asparagus in the water and cook for 5 minutes, until bright green. Add the spinach and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Drain them both and transfer to a blender, along with olive oil, garlic clove and pistachios. Pulse until smooth, about 1 minute, scrapping down the sides as needed. Squeeze in the lemon juice and add a few pinches of salt. Pulse once more and give it a taste test. Adjust the salt according to your liking.
  3. Pour the pesto into the pot with the pasta and toss until thoroughly coated, adding a splash or two of pasta water as needed. Divide between bowls and top with a few spears of asparagus as garnish.
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