Servings: four to six.
Swap almonds for the usual pine nuts in this twist on classic pesto, and turn it into a one-dish meal with a few bright vegetables. This pesto recipe doubles easily; keep any extra in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a week. It’s delicious on crostini for a quick bite, or served with roast chicken or salmon.
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Arrange the asparagus in a single layer on one half of a large rimmed baking sheet. Arrange the tomatoes on the other half of the sheet. Drizzle both with 1 Tbs. of the oil, season with 1/4 tsp. salt, and toss to coat. Roast on the top rack until the tomatoes have collapsed and the asparagus are bright green, about 20 minutes.
While the vegetables roast, put the almonds on another rimmed baking sheet and toast on the bottom rack, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes.
Reserve 1 heaping Tbs. of the almonds for garnish and put the remaining almonds in a food processor. Remove the tips from the asparagus and set aside. Roughly chop the remaining asparagus and add to the food processor along with the basil, cheese, 1/2 tsp. salt, and the remaining 3 Tbs. olive oil. Pulse until a coarse paste forms, about 10 seconds. Season to taste with salt and pepper and transfer to a large serving bowl.
Cook the linguine in the boiling water according to package directions until al dente. Drain the pasta and reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. Add the pasta to the pesto and toss to coat. If necessary, add some or all of the reserved cooking water to loosen the pesto to a saucy consistency. Garnish with the tomatoes, asparagus tips, and reserved almonds, and serve.
Serving Suggestion: Add some extra protein to the meal with Hummus, served with fresh vegetables for dipping.
Doubled the asparagus. Used my frozen traditional basil pesto and frozen tomato conserva. Added a little hot pepper. Very good with a multigrain pasta
This was absolutely delicious. However, beware of the cooking times at 425 degrees. The tray of almonds on the bottom rack will burn to a crisp if you leave it for the prescribed 10 minutes. 2 minutes will be plenty. Same goes for the asparagus 7 tomatoes. 10 minutes at that temperature will be fine.
Delicious! Prep work not bad at all. Easy. I had never made my own pesto before. Pesto, presto! Make sure you save some of the pasta cooking water to "loosen the pesto to a saucy consistency"...The toasted almonds give a nice crunch and taste. The grape tomatoes burst as they roast and taste so good. Blending the asparagus with the basil, almonds and cheese rounds out the flavor. I will return to this recipe.
I would give this recipe 10 stars if I could, 20 even... It's the best pasta recipe I've ever made and I make it any time I have pasta cravings. I like to add broccolini and/or shrimp cooked in garlic to make it a full meal, but this dish is incredible without them. I served this meal with a large group of friends and everyone was quiet because they could not stop eating it and serving themselves seconds. A true hit... Fine Cooking, you win again!
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