Tuesday, May 6, 2014

pesto pasta with asparagus

You guys.
I'm alive, I swear.
I've been having photo editing issues, but now that they are all taken care of I'm back in business!
{Thank you, VSCOcam customer service, for being so helpful!}

For awhile there, I felt like I was going through a cooking rut.
It's happened once or twice before here on this little space of mine, and you can always tell when because the new recipes dwindle.
It always takes me awhile to start feeling motivated and inspired again, but it never fails - something happens to bring me back to the kitchen.

This time, it was these guys.

Our first shipment of wine from lovely Napa Valley!
I'm going to dedicate a post to that soon because it was just too wonderful to condense into a couple of sentences, but while we were there, we joined the winery where our engagement wine came from!
Meaning, every couple months we get a shipment of amazing wines to save, share, or enjoy with our friends.

Wine shipped directly from Napa to my doorstep?
Sign me up!

When our first shipment came in, we decided it would be fun to have a nice dinner and open a bottle.

{We also got to play with some wedding gifts, so I didn't hate that part either!}

So, in lieu of the delicious wine at my doorstep, I felt like it was time to get back in the kitchen and make us something new.
I hadn't tried a new recipe in weeks, and what better a thing than wine to inspire a girl?

Something delicious ensued.

recipe adapted via
Things you'll need:

10 oz bow tie pasta {a little less than a whole box}
1 lb asparagus, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
2 tbsp olive oil
salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup basil pesto
1/3 cup Mozzarella, cubed
fried egg {optional}

For the pesto {recipe via}:

3/4 cup fresh basil leaves {one mini package from the grocery store}
2 cloves garlic
3 tbsp pine nuts
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
1/3 cup olive oil

For the pesto, simply add the basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan, salt and pepper into a food processor, and pulse a few times to roughly chop.
Add olive oil, and turn the processor on until emulsified.
My food processor doesn't allow me to drizzle the oil in while it's running, so I add the oil all at once.
If yours will allow you to slowly stream it in, go for it!
Set aside.

Cook pasta according to package instructions.
While pasta is boiling, chop asparagus into 1- to 2-inch pieces.
Heat olive oil in a skillet on medium.
Toss in asparagus, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and sauté for 5-7 minutes, until asparagus is cooked through but still has a crunch.
{I loathe mushy asparagus, so I hardly ever roast or steam it - sautéing is totally my jam.}

Add the cooked pasta to a large bowl along with the asparagus, mozzarella cubes, and pesto.
The pesto recipe makes a bit more than 1/2 cup, but not enough to save, so I just use all of it.
Stir to combine, and watch the mozzarella cubes begin to melt.

Then, if you so choose, top with a fried egg.
Let the warm yolk run onto your serving, and enjoy!

The fried egg is totally optional.
We've had it both ways and loved it with and without.
In fact, Joe said he wouldn't mind this being our meal every Thursday {which is good, because it has been the past two Thursdays!}.

The first time, I didn't serve this with anything.
Just good wine and good company.
And it was very filling!

The second time, I added a baguette with some garlic oil for dipping {also from Napa, possibly my favorite purchase}, and it was just as amazing.

It sounds sort of strange to put asparagus in a pasta dish, but trust me, you want to do this.
Asparagus is one of those vegetables that I struggle finding new ways to use, and this is definitely my current favorite.

And lets just take a minute to talk about pesto.
I've been wanting to make it for years now, and I can't believe I waited this long!
I seriously can't stop.
I've made two batches of the basil pesto, plus a kale version, and I can't wait to see what other greens I like!
Maybe pea pesto next?

How have you been lately?
Tell me everything!
I may have been quiet via blog, but I've definitely been reading along.
Is it just me, or is every blogger and their sister pregnant these days?

I love it!

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