Asparagus, Lemon and Pistacchio Pesto

As soon as the summer sun starts to rise all I can think about is lemons.

 

Lemon curd on my toast, lemony pasta for lunch, lemon and rosemary mushroom steaks for dinner. Lemons, lemons, lemons.

 

With that in mind I wanted to take advantage of the end of the asparagus season and have a fresh, light and summery pasta. People put off by the asparagus need not be concerned, they add a lovely delicate note to this comforting pesto

 

They might look like a lot of work but they are deceptively simple, once you've tried them there's no going back!

Ingredients

Serves 2

500g Asparagus

40g Pistachios (crushed into peppercorn sized pieces)

40g Parmesan

1 Lemon

1 Clove of Garlic (chopped)

Handful of Parsley

  • Bend the asparagus stem and let it break at it's natural weak spot

  • Boil the asparagus for 8-10 minutes until soft in salted water. Remove from the water (keep this water aside to use for thinning the sauce and cooking your pasta in).

  • Cut the tips off the asparagus and put to one side.

  • Cut the remaining stem into dice-sized discs.

  • Grate the zest of a lemon and mix with the pistachio, parmesan, garlic.

  • Add this to a food processor with the asparagus stems and blend.

  • Once the sauce is creamy, add the juice of half a lemon (Italian lemons are strong, you may need the full lemon), salt, pepper and olive oil to the mixture and whirr again until you get a nice, creamy consistency.

  • Cook the pasta in the asparagus water (add more if necessary), reserve some of this starchy water and mix with the sauce, chopped parsley and pasta when cooked. Add the tips to garnish the plate