No. 20: Pesto Pasta with Asparagus

I woke up Monday with a touch of something. A bit of bleh.

With no meetings on the docket (a miracle) I decided to keep my germs at home and work from the couch. Luckily, I have two assistants to help me when I am handling Decker business from the East Bay.

Schnauzer pups

(They are hard workers.)

When it came to lunch, all I knew was that it had to be warm and full of flavor, because my taste buds were not in full functioning order.

Comfort Food

Food can bring such comfort. It can take you home, give you some peace of mind, make you sigh with pleasure.

We all have a different go-to in this category. I took a very unscientific poll of some friends to hear what their favorites are:

  • Chicken potpie
  • Anything with pasta
  • Pot roast
  • Macaroni and cheese (several votes)
  • Fresh, hearty, grainy country bread with salted butter (this is also mine)
  • Grandma's tamales
  • Homemade marinara
  • Chicken noodle soup
  • Mashed potatoes (several votes)
  • Meat loaf
  • Soft, butter rolls

Quite frankly, all of those sounded amazing. As I was typing each one I kept "oohing" out loud and nodding in agreement.

Pesto & Pasta

For my comfort lunch, I went straight for pasta.

There are some classic combinations in cooking. Putting pesto and sun dried tomatoes in pasta is one of those marriages in the food world that will never die.

What I liked about this recipe was that it added asparagus for some healthy veggie goodness.

Ingredients

8 ounces pasta
1 pound asparagus, trimmed
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup basil pesto
1/3 cup julienned sun dried tomatoes, drained
1/3 cup diced mozzarella or feta
Fried egg, for serving (optional)
Serves 4

To make

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions; drain well.

Place asparagus in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet lined with foil. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, to taste; gently toss to combine. Place into oven and roast for 8-12 minutes, or until tender but crisp.

Asparagus

Let cool before cutting into 1-inch pieces.

In a large bowl, combine pasta, asparagus, pesto, sun dried tomatoes and mozzarella.

Serve immediately with a fried egg, if desired.

The results

This would be a perfect weeknight supper in under 30 minutes, easy. I skipped the fried egg and cheese, but the dish still had plenty of seasoning.

Final

(Don't let the poor photo fool you. This was better than it looks:)

And the best part was the asparagus. It came out crisply roasted, almost like asparagus fries.

Weekday comfort in a bowl.

Check out a full index of recipes here
Send me your thoughts, comments and ideas at theresolvedcook@gmail.com