Sometimes, I just can’t keep up with the dishes. It.Never.Ends. Haha, can you relate? It goes something like this: clean up only to make a mess then clean up again, load the dishwasher, unload the dishwasher, load the dirty dishes that have been sitting in the sink.. run the dishwasher again, unload, I mean its never ending! And then there’s those special dishes to wash that can’t go in the dishwasher.. I swear we go through more dishes than is normal. Probably due to my creative making of a (yummy) mess. With all the recipe creating nowadays, kitchen mayhem is true 😉 seriously, sometimes it looks like a hurricane whirled through our kitchen.. not complaining over here, but if I can make life easier with less dishes, you betcha I will do just that. So it’s about time for a one-pot meal! And a nourishing one at that. Did I mention it takes only 25 minutes to whip up?!
I thrive on vibrantly colored food, and the bright green color of this One Pot Pesto Asparagus Pasta dish more than satisfies my bright color addiction. The creamy pesto is made with a TON of spinach, basil, fresh lemon juice, pine nuts, cashews, garlic, olive oil and salt. The cashews used in this luscious pesto add that cheesy flavor – yum! I was totally licking the spoon. I kept the green theme going with fresh asparagus, zucchini and peas that I added to the pot for the last 2-3 minutes that the pasta was boiling. The asparagus turned out perfect with a little crunch and not soggy at all. Exactly how I wanted it. I really don’t like soggy, overcooked veggies. Yuck.
This dish can be made gluten-free too with your favorite GF pasta. I used organic whole wheat penne because that is what I had but my favorites are quinoa noodles, buckwheat noodles or brown rice noodles. And we have tons of leftovers for the rest of the week, score. I talk about leftovers all the time because they are a necessity in my life – well mainly for Marty. He gets haaaangry for reals and if there is not something in the fridge that he can heat up immediately (he even loves leftovers for breakfast) he has a mini panic attack and will most likely resort to fast food. So I lookout for his health lol and try to have something made for him when his hunger strikes. He works out like a fiend and has the fastest metabolism I’ve ever seen – basically he can eat for four. If you know Marty, you know this to be true 😉 so I like to make big batches that can pretty much serve 6.
- 1 box of your favorite pasta (I used whole wheat penne)
- 1 bunch of fresh asparagus, ends removed and chopped
- 1 zucchini, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups frozen peas
- 4 cups spinach
- 1/4 cup fresh basil
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 3 garlic cloves
- fresh juice from 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- water as needed (I added about 1/3 cup)
- In one large pot, bring water to a boil and cook the pasta accordingly. In the last 2-3 minutes that the pasta has left to cook, add in the chopped asparagus, zucchini and peas. When finished cooking, turn off the heat, drain the water and add the pasta/veggies back into the large pot.
- To prepare the pesto: In a blender or food processor, add all the ingredients for the pesto and blend until creamy and smooth. Pour mixture over the pasta and mix until well combined.
- Top with some chopped cashews for a little crunch or extra basil.
- The pesto sauce makes about 2 cups. Serves roughly 4-6. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Hope you enjoy this easy, quick dish as much as we did!