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Pasta with roasted asparagus and almond pesto


Kari Simpson, caregiver

Photo: ELLICSR Kitchen

Here’s a vegetarian recipe – comfort food made with healthy oils to help maintain a healthy body weight. You could also use half whole wheat and half regular spaghetti instead of linguini. This recipe can be doubled. The sauce can be served on any type of pasta or on salmon.

3/4 tsp kosher salt, divided 3 mL
1/2 lb asparagus, trimmed (about 15 spears) 225 g
2 cups grape tomatoes 500 mL
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided 60 mL
1/2 cup sliced almonds 125 mL
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves 60 mL
2 tbsp finely grated parmesan cheese 30 mL
1 lb dried linguine 450 g

Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and heat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.

Arrange the asparagus in a single layer on half of a large, rimmed baking sheet. Arrange the tomatoes on the other half of the sheet. Drizzle both with 1 tbsp (15 mL) of olive oil and season with 1/4 tsp (1 mL) of salt. Toss to coat. Roast on the top rack until the tomatoes have collapsed and the asparagus is bright green – about 20 minutes.

While the vegetables roast, put the almonds on another rimmed baking sheet and toast on the bottom rack, stirring occasionally for 10 to 12 minutes. Reserve 1 tsp (5 mL) of the almonds for garnish, and put the remaining almonds in a food processor or blender.

Remove the tips from the asparagus and set aside. Put the rest of the asparagus (the stems), the basil, cheese, 1/2 tsp (2 mL) of salt and the remaining 3 tbsp (45 mL) of olive oil into the blender. Pulse until a coarse paste forms. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and transfer to a large serving bowl.

Boil and drain the pasta and reserve 1/2 cup (125 mL) of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the pesto and toss to coat. If necessary, add some of the reserved cooking water to loosen the pesto to a saucy consistency.

Garnish with the tomatoes, asparagus tips and almonds.

Makes 6 servings

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Nutrition information
Per serving
Calories 436
Fat 15 grams
Carbohydrates 62 grams
Fibre 5 grams
Protein 14 grams

Looking for more ideas?

Cover image for Eating Well When You Have Cancer

Our booklet Eating Well When You Have Cancer has more tips and ideas to help manage symptoms and side effects that can affect your eating during treatment.