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.