Pasta with Pesto Peas and Asparagus

Pasta with Pesto Peas and Asparagus

4 cups fresh spinach
1/4 cup fresh basil
1/4 cup pine nuts or walnuts
3 garlic cloves
fresh juice from 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 to 1/3 cup water
1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil
1 box (16 ounces) rigatoni or penne pasta
1/2 pound fresh asparagus, ends removed and chopped
1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed

To prepare the pesto, in a blender or food processor, add the first 6 ingredients along with 1/4 cup Parmesan, 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup olive oil. Blend until creamy and smooth, adding more oil and/or water if needed. In one large pot, bring water to a boil and cook the pasta accordingly. In the last 2 minutes that the pasta has left to cook, add in the chopped asparagus. When finished cooking, turn off the heat, drain the water and add the pasta and asparagus back to the pot. Pour pesto mixture over the hot pasta, asparagus and add peas. Mix until well combined. Serve right away with extra Parmesan cheese on top.

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