Today we’re making caprese pasta salad with asparagus pesto!

Caprese pasta salad in a white bowl

Let’s make caprese pasta salad with asparagus pesto

I’m not at all mad about it.  I’m so ready for a weekend of camping, bonfires, golfing (yes, I said golfing), grilling and pure relaxation.  These things don’t happen very often, so when they do, I’m all about it.  Also, I’m just getting back from 5 days in New Orleans for a conference (#TDinNOLA) and I could seriously use some R&R.  

But let me tell you, it was so very much fun.  And delicious.  We’re talking beignets, crawfish pies (so much YES), sausage and rabbit jambalaya, Cajun fried chicken, oyster po boys, hurricanes (not the storm) and etouffee.  And I know what you’re thinking… I’m in need of a few extra workout sessions and a week of just vegetables.  Yes, yes I am.  But I don’t feel bad about it because it was delicious and so very much fun.  And now it’s time for that R&R and those vegetables.

Luckily, one of the veggies I’m all over this week is asparagus, mainly because it’s so yummy, but also because it’s growing like crazy in my garden.  And the recipe I’m sharing today is super special – it’s asparagus pesto!  It’s packed with peas, basil, garlic, Parmesan, pine nuts and olive oil, and is tossed with bowtie pasta, cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and more fresh basil (caprese love, you guys).  I’d highly recommend serving it cold because of all that hot and muggy Memorial weekend weather.

This pasta salad also happens to be super easy on the eyes.  Amiright:

Caprese pasta salad with asparagus pesto in a white bowl
Caprese pasta salad with asparagus pesto in a white bowl

This is probably my most favorite recipe to make using asparagus!

You’re sure to be the potluck hero with this gorgeous salad.  For real.

It also doesn’t hurt that at my cookout this Caprese Pasta Salad with Asparagus Pesto is served with wine (if you’re 21, of course.)  My personal favorite (when consumed with this salad) is Pinot Grigio.  It’s the perfect pairing for pasta, seafood, chicken, most veggies, fruit and cheeses, and it’s slightly sweet with hints of green apple and citrus, making it the best wine for spring and summer.  And also perfect for sipping all my itself, just sayin’.

Caprese pasta salad with asparagus pesto in a white bowl

I absolutely love this wine… and this salad.   And I think you will, too.

Have the best Memorial weekend, my friends!

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Caprese Pasta Salad with Asparagus Pesto

Bowtie pasta salad with tomatoes, basil and mozzarella tossed with fresh asparagus-pea pesto.

  • Author: Julie Andrews
  • Prep Time: 15-20 mins
  • Cook Time: 10-15 mins
  • Total Time: 25-35 mins
  • Yield: Serves 12 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove-Top
  • Cuisine: Italian, American
  • Diet: Vegetarian
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1-pound whole grain bowtie pasta
  • 1-pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 3-inch pieces
  • ½ cup cooked spring peas
  • ¼ cup fresh Parmesan + more for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 34 cloves garlic, peeled
  • ¼ cup fresh basil + more for garnish
  • Splash fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ teaspoon coarse salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 cup mini fresh mozzarella balls

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta per package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. In the same pot, bring 4 cups water to a boil. Add asparagus, reduce to a simmer and cook 7-8 minutes, until asparagus is very tender. Remove from the water and allow to slightly cool.
  3. In the bowl of a large food processor, blend asparagus, spring peas, Parmesan, pine nuts, garlic, basil, lemon juice and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. While blending, drizzle in olive oil until desired consistency is reached. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
  4. Toss asparagus pesto with bowtie pasta. Stir in tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. Refrigerate for at least one hour. If pasta is dry, toss with extra olive oil. Garnish with Parmesan cheese and basil. Serve.

Notes

Storage Tip: Store pasta salad in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/12 of recipe
  • Calories: 267
  • Sugar: 4g
  • Sodium: 87mg
  • Fat: 12g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 11g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 32g
  • Fiber: 6g
  • Protein: 8g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

Keywords: tasty, healthy, tomatoes, fresh, whole grain, easy, best, quick