Spring Pasta with Carrots, Asparagus and Pesto
Pesto sauce (such as Priscilla’s Presto Pesto listed below)
8 ounces dry penne pasta
1/2 pound asparagus, bottoms snapped off
2 carrots, cut into thick matchsticks
4 shallots, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
Pinch of sea salt
Boil 3 quarts of water and cook the pasta. Warm the olive oil and add the carrots. Sauté for 1 minute, then add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water and simmer for 3 minutes, covered. Cut the asparagus into small pieces. Add the asparagus and shallots with another 2 tablespoons of water to the cooking carrots. Cover and cook for another 4 minutes. Cook off any excess water. Season to taste with salt. Add the vegetables to the pasta. Toss with pesto (see below).
Priscilla’s Presto Pesto
1⁄3 cup pine nuts
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
2 mashed garlic cloves
1/4–1⁄3 cup olive oil
Put the nuts, basil, garlic, and oil in a blender. Purée until the mixture is well blended. Add salt to taste. Use immediately or store in a covered container in the refrigerator.