12 In Italian Inspired/ Meals

Asparagus Pesto with Penne Pasta

pesto asparagus
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pesto asparagus

Asparagus Pesto with Penne Pasta

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  • Author: Carrie Pacini
  • Category: Italian Inspired


Asparagus is one of my favorite sides for steak, seafood, and even for pasta.

This recipe is for a neat little sauce with it’s origins from Liguria, which has a multitude of green sauces and pesto dishes.

Liguria is where pesto is originally from and is one of the most popular sauces in Italian cuisine.

Liguria is a coastal region of north-western Italy, the third smallest of the Italian regions. Its capital is Genoa. It’s a popular area with tourists for its beautiful beaches and picturesque little towns.

This dish is flavorful, nutty and creamy. I hope you get a chance to try it!



2 Bundles of green asparagus (rough bottom parts cut off)
1/2 cup of chopped green onions (green parts)
1 cup of grated parmigiano cheese or pecorino romano
1/2 cup of plain yogurt or you can use 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream
2 tsp of minced garlic
1/2 tsp of sea salt
1/4 cup of pine nuts
3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
1 box of penne pasta


1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Line a baking tray with foil and layer the asparagus on the tray. Sprinkle with olive and and salt to your taste. Bake in the oven for about 12 minutes.

3. Take the asparagus out of the oven,  cut the tops off and set aside.

Asparagus Tops

Asparagus Tops

4. Take the bottom parts of the asparagus and cut them in half, then put them in a food processor.

Asparagus to blend

Asparagus to blend

5. Add the following in the food processor: green onions, parmigiano cheese, minced garlic, salt, pine nuts, and olive oil. Pulse until all blended.

6. Next add the plain yogurt or the whipping cream for a creamy texture.

7. At this point you can add more salt or cheese to your liking. Set it aside.

Asparagus Pesto

Asparagus Pesto

NOTE: Makes about 2 cups of sauce

8. Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the penne pasta according to the directions on the box.

9. Once the pasta is done, drain it and add it to a bowl then mix it with the asparagus sauce.

10. Plate it and add the tops of the asparagus on top of the pasta to serve.


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  • Reply
    Sharon Proba
    February 1, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    Hey Carrie!! It has been too long.You are doing an amazing job!! I am actually going to attempt this :0)!!
    Would love to see you…

    • Reply
      Carrie Pacini
      February 2, 2012 at 2:37 pm

      Hey Sharon, can’t wait for you to try it. It’s one of my favorites. Yes we need to get together been way too long :)

  • Reply
    February 1, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    This is not a very easy to dish…but I love to try out new pesto twists. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      Carrie Pacini
      February 2, 2012 at 2:42 pm

      @myfudo it’s super easy once you try it even though it sounds a bit tedious. It’s an old Italian recipe you hardly ever see on a menu.

  • Reply
    February 2, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    i made it for dinner tonight. it’s SUPER easy and absolutely delish. thanks!

    • Reply
      Carrie Pacini
      February 3, 2012 at 11:55 am

      @rachiepants85 So glad you liked it! I have a few more recipes like this one that I need to post about.

      I feel like they make weekday meals a little bit more interesting and exciting!

  • Reply
    February 8, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    Wow! That was unbelievable! I mean REALLY good. I omitted the parmigiano and green onions (didn’t have either) and put a 1/2 of a cup of pine nuts instead, and it was so much better than I expected. I can’t imagine how good it would be with both parmigiano and green onions.

    • Reply
      Carrie Pacini
      February 8, 2012 at 8:03 pm

      @Michael: Glad you liked it and that it worked out with the extra pine nuts!

  • Reply
    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious
    April 6, 2012 at 12:29 am

    I’ve seen plenty of basil and spinach pestos but never asparagus! I’m incredibly intrigued, and I can’t wait to give this a try :)

    • Reply
      Carrie Pacini
      April 8, 2012 at 8:24 am

      @Chung-Ah it’s different and very tasty. The asparagus and pine nut combination is one of my favorite style of pestos.

  • Reply
    January 6, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    Very simple…very tasty!

    • Reply
      Carrie Pacini
      January 8, 2014 at 8:07 am

      Thanks Nancy, it’s one of my favorites.

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