Pasta with asparagus, walnuts and lemon

Asparagus and walnut1

I made this spring pasta for a friend’s BBQ this weekend.  It’s springy, vegan, and tastes great at room temperature.

It’s creamy, crunchy, and rounded out by the lemon.  Mmm.

♫ Suggested listening: something from TC’s Funky Nuts. ♫

Click to listen: TC’s Funky Nuts – “Ain’t it Funky”

Adapted from Food 52, the Wikipedia of recipe websites


  • 1 lb. pasta (I used campanelle)
  • 1 lb. asparagus spears
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1 shallot or 1 clove garlic
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (or a combo of olive oil and butter, depending on your mood/diet)
  • Handful of basil (optional)
  • Juice of 1 lemon, plus zest


  1. Cook your pasta — add that salt and a little vinegar, or use the method of your choosing.
  2. Reserve approx. 1 cup of the pasta water, then drain pasta.
  3. Meanwhile, trim off the tough ends of the asparagus if necessary. Chop up the stalks, leaving the tips intact.
  4. Sautée garlic or shallot in olive oil in a large pan over medium heat for five minutes.
  5. Add the asparagus stalks (but not the tips), season with salt and pepper, and add 1/3 cup of the reserved pasta water. Cover pan and cook asparagus for 4 to 8 minutes, until tender.
  6. Purée the asparagus/shallot/garlic/pasta water mixture (I also added basil) in a food processor to make a pesto.
  7. Meanwhile, add the asparagus tips to your pan and sautée independently.
  8. Mix the cooked pasta and the asparagus pesto. Heat on low for a minute or two to allow pasta to absorb some of the sauce.
  9. Put the pasta in a bowl, top with the asparagus tips.  Squeeze the lemon juice over the top, then finish with the walnuts and the lemon zest.

Asparagus walnut 3

2 thoughts on “Pasta with asparagus, walnuts and lemon

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