We knew that good things were in store when we woke up Saturday morning and the sun was shining. We only needed a light jacket when we headed out for our weekly walk to the market. We had some ideas as to what we wanted to make that day, but sometimes our ideas change when we arrive. This was one of those days. Almost instantly, bunches of asparagus caught our eye. It was everywhere, in all its glory and different color iterations. Asparagus season had finally arrived; a sure sign that summer was on its way.
After securing the most perfect bunch of fresh asparagus, we immediately began talking about what we wanted to make. Our original ideas went out the window (soon to be revealed in a future post) as we discussed what to do with our coveted green vegetable. On this day, we were hungry for something more than just a side dish; our long morning stroll had given me the urge to use pasta. Tortellini just felt like the right choice.
How To Make Rough Chopped Pesto (no food processor needed!)
- heat a large skillet over medium heat and add ¼ C olive oil.
- hand chop 2 garlic cloves, 4 oz. fresh basil leaves, and ⅛ C of walnuts very fine.
- add to pan and cook for 1 minute.
- add 1 lb of your favorite cooked pasta & toss to coat (adding more olive oil if needed).
- cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
- stir in ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese.
- serve warm.
This Asparagus Tortellini with Blue Cheese & Pesto came together almost effortlessly. It has many complex textures and strong flavors which complement each other beautifully. It is a great showcase for asparagus at the height of its season. The warm pasta gives the blue cheese a slightly melted texture, providing creaminess that pairs with the crunch of the walnuts. If you are not a fan of blue cheese (like we are) it can be substituted with a milder option like goat cheese or creamy boursin.
I made a basil pesto that was not the traditional “saucy” type, but rather rough chopped and more rustic. I felt this looked good on the plate and was just as tasty as traditional pesto. This recipe is exactly the kind I like to make. It is simple, delicious and it features seasonal ingredients. Good food, good company, and sunny days: things are looking up.
- 1 lb bag pre-made cheese tortellini
- 4 ounces fresh asparagus
- 2 garlic cloves
- ¼ C olive oil
- 4 oz fresh basil
- ¼ C grated parmesan cheese
- ¼ C fresh blue cheese crumbles
- ¼ C walnuts, chopped
- Cook tortellini according to package directions.Drain and set aside.
- While tortellini is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium heat and add olive oil.
- Cut asparagus on bias into 1" pieces using top ¾ part. Add to oil and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Chop garlic, basil and ½ of the walnuts very fine. Add to pan and cook for 1 minute.
- Add tortellini and toss to coat with pesto mixture and asparagus. Add more olive oil if desired.
- Heat for 2-3 minutes and then add parmesan cheese and toss.
- Remove from heat and plate while sprinkling blue cheese over pasta and add remaining chopped nuts.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 15 mins
- Category: Pasta
- Cuisine: Italian American
- Serving Size: 2 Cups
- Calories: 1352
- Sugar: 4.4 g
- Sodium: 1876.3 mg
- Fat: 68.5 g
- Carbohydrates: 133.7 g
- Protein: 55.1 g
- Cholesterol: 161.4 mg
Keywords: tortellini, pasta, vegetarian, asparagus, blue cheese, pesto