Pesto Pasta with Asparagus + Bacon
Make bright green Pesto Pasta with snappy asparagus and smoky bacon for a perfect springtime pasta dinner.
Servings 4 servings
- 1 (16 oz.) package rigatoni pasta (You can substitute w/ your own fave pasta!)
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt + black pepper, to taste
- handful asparagus, ends trimmed + chopped in halves
- 2 cups chopped cooked candied bacon (See Notes!)
- 1 cup organic spinach (You can sub w/ kale or arugula)
- 1 cup basil leaves
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1/4 cup Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp juice of a lemon
- 6 garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp sea salt + black pepper
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika (optional)
- 1 tsp dried parsley
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare a large baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper.
Add the asparagus unto the baking sheet (in a single layer) and drizzle with olive oil and season with sea salt, black pepper and bake for 7-10 minutes or until asparagus has reduced in size and browned at the edges. Remove and set aside.
In the meantime, cook pasta according to packaging. NOTE: rigatoni pasta doesn’t take a long time to cook, usually 8-10 minutes (however, you should cook at 6-8 minutes or so—‘al dente’).
Add all ingredients into a food processor and process until well blended and broken down. NOTE: If needed, add a bit of water (1 Tbsp), if too thick.
In a large bowl, add together the cooked pasta and pesto sauce, tossing it all together until pasta is fully coated.
To serve, add the pasta into your prepared plates or bowls, top with roasted asparagus and cooked bacon. Add grated parmesan cheese, if desired.
STORAGE: Any leftovers can be kept in a tightly sealed container and refrigerated for up to 3-4 days.
PASTA: You can use long pastas like Pappardelle, Fettuccine, etc. however, I would recommend tossing with tongs to ensure that pasta is fully manageable and fully coated.Otherwise, other pastas such as Penne, Rigatoni, etc. are perfect.
CANDIED BACON: Place the bacon on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and brush the tops of the bacon with maple syrup and sprinkle on some brown sugar. Bake in a pre-heated 400 degree Fahrenheit oven for 10-15 minutes or so, flipping the bacon and brushing the opposite side with maple syrup and sprinkling the brown sugar as well. Bake for another 10-15 minutes or until it is completely caramelized and crispy.