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Asparagus, Pesto, and Rigatoni

The fresh greens of the late spring and early summer season are so delicious! Traditional salads are the standard, but I am always looking for new ways to prepare and consume them. The sweet and strong flavor of asparagus is well balanced with the spicy and strong flavor of arugula. This recipe is great for using alone, as a side dish, or mixed into pasta as a substitute for marinara sauce. It's great cold or warm.

(yields 1 cup)

12-14 asparagus spears
2 ½ cups arugula
2 tbs olive oil
¼ tsp salt
2 tbs water

1. Heat oil in pan over medium heat.
2. Add asparagus spears and salt to the pan and cook for 2 minutes.
3. Add water and reduce heat to low.
4. Cook for 5 minutes or until soft, but not mushy.
5. Combine contents of pan and arugula into a food processor.
6. Puree until ingredients are combined.
7. Serve mixed into a pasta, or paired as a sauce with grilled chicken, or double down and add a dash or rice vinegar and use as a dressing for a large salad.

Variations: Substitute spinach, mizzuna, raab greens, or mustard greens.

About Andrea Todd
Home chef Andrea Todd has been learning by experimenting and trying new foods and combinations in the kitchen for years. She loves to share ideas and tips, and sticks to simple recipes that taste good, are seasonal and easy to make, and locally grown. Sharing is an integral part of Andrea's food philosophy. Whether through a meal in her kitchen with one friend or a community cooking event with 30, she finds the shared experience of food inspiring. The recipes she creates are starting points, designed to be replicated, expanded, or revised as you like. Enjoy!

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Andrea writes blog articles for Seventh Generation.