I have a major obsession with Pesto. I go through more of the stuff than I’m willing to admit. I love it on pizza, or even on a baguette with some baked brie. I find that it goes well with most everything.
I especially love adding pesto to pasta – it’s a quick way to add some color and variety. And obviously, it adds tremendous flavour. Sometimes though, pasta and pesto doesn’t quite cut it. With asparagus being in season, I decided to roast up a few stocks, along with some cherry tomatoes, and toss it in the mix. It was hard to keep my chubby fingers off the roasted veggies, but I managed. You know, for the greater good. I didn’t want to ruin supper for everyone else.
Naturally, the addition of veggies make this creamy pesto pasta a smart choice. I should also mention that I didn’t use even an ounce of heavy cream. Instead, I made a roux with butter and flour, and slowly whisked in whole milk. You could use 2% instead, if that’s your jam. And as an added bonus, it all comes together in about 30 minutes, making it a perfect weeknight meal.
Creamy Pesto Pasta with Asparagus
- 15 stalks of asparagus trimmed
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes sliced in half lengthwise
- olive oil
- 8 oz of linguini or your favourite pasta shape
- 1/4 cup butter
- 4 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 + 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 1/4 cup parmesan grated
- 1/4 cup pesto
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly coat the asparagus and tomatoes with olive oil and place them on a baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Roast for about 10-15 minutes. Chop the asparagus into bite sized pieces.
- Prepare your pasta according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium skillet. Add in the flour, and whisk until well combined and lightly browned.
- Slowly add the milk and continue to whisk until smooth. It should take about 1 minute for it to thicken up.
- Add in the garlic and cream cheese, and continue to whisk until the cream cheese has melted.
- Add pesto and parmesan. If the sauce is too thick, add more milk.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Add the pasta, asparagus and tomatoes. Toss to combine.
- Serve immediately.