This is one of those recipes that screams spring, it’s light, it’s easy and it’s delicious…
For the pesto, I switched it up a bit to take full advantage of wild garlic also known as Ramsons and 3 cornered leeks also known as onion weed, while they are in season. If you aren’t able to find these, by all means stick to fresh basil or if you want to be a little more creative, throw in some organic carrot tops or even rocket (arugula). This recipe can be made completely plant based by using nutritional yeast in place of the cheese. If you’re not able to find Pea shoots, you can use fresh peas or mange tout.
20 g fresh Basil
30 g 3 cornered leeks (optional)
30 g Wild garlic (optional)
50 g Pine nuts
2 small ripe Avocado (ripe)
3 Garlic cloves + 1 garlic clove roughly minced
150 ml olive oil + more for sautéing
50 g Pecorino (alternatively, nutritional yeast)
Parmesan, grated (for serving)
Asparagus (Hard/woody ends removed)
40 g Pea Shoots
600 g Rigatoni pasta
Cracked black pepper to taste
Salt to taste
+ Add salt to a medium to large saucepan of water and bring it to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the instructions on the pack.
+ In a food processor or blender, add all the ingredients for the pesto and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust with salt and pepper according to your liking.
+ Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the minced garlic and the asparagus to a pan that is suitable for sautéing. Heat gently to avoid burning the garlic and to allow the asparagus to cook through.
+ Once the asparagus is tender, not mushy (about 5 to 8 minutes) season with sea salt and cracked black pepper and remove from heat.
+ Add a squeeze of lemon and a tablespoon of olive oil to a bowl, throw in the pea shoots and give them a good toss.
+ Bring the dish together by mixing the pasta and asparagus with the pesto. Gently mix through the pea shoots and plate each serving before adding and few gratings of parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast.
(Thank you so much, Kayon! My children are obsessed with practically everything pesto lately, so I’m so excited to try this. All photography by Kayon Reynalls for LaTonya Yvette.