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Pasta with Asparagus and Arugula-Pistachio Pesto

Servings:4 to 6

You can customize this dish with other spring-forward produce favorites, such as fava beans or spinach.


  • 2 cups packed arugula (2-1/2 oz.)
  • 1 cup raw unsalted pistachios
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 lb. dried acini de pepe pasta
  • 1 qt. vegetable broth
  • 1 lb. asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces (3 cups)
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced Lemon wedges, for garnish
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, for garnish


In a food processor, combine the arugula, pistachios, Parmigiano, and garlic, and pulse until finely ground, about 1 minute. With the motor running, add 3/4 cup of the oil in a slow, steady stream until the pesto is smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer the pesto to a small bowl, stir in the salt, and set aside.

In a large Dutch oven, heat the remaining 2 Tbs. oil over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the pasta and broth, and bring to a boil. Cook, uncovered, stirring constantly, until the pasta is al dente and the liquid is absorbed, 8 to 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add the asparagus and pesto, stir to combine, and cook until tender, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add lemon zest and juice, and stir to combine.

Divide among pasta bowls, garnish with the lemon wedges and pepper flakes, and serve immediately.


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