Asparagus season is in full swing and today I am sharing a super quick and delicious recipe for Asparagus Tomato Pasta with Oregano Hazelnut Pesto. This seasonal dish only takes about 30 minutes to put together and makes a light vegetarian meal perfect to enjoy on a warm spring day.
If you grow your own herbs making a pesto is one of the best ways to use them. And I am not just talking about basil. A little while ago I made parsley pesto, simply by swapping basil for parsley. In today’s recipe my herb of choice is oregano and I used hazelnuts instead of more traditional pine nuts.
Fresh oregano is very different from its dried equivalent, a lot more subtle and with less bitter notes. It pairs extremely well with lightly toasted hazelnuts, which give this pesto a lovely nutty sweetness (plus they are cheaper than pine nuts). The pesto takes only a minute to prepare and the proportions used in this recipe make a generous amount, enough for 4 large portions (any leftovers can be stored in a jar in the fridge for a few days).
Roasting is a great way to cook vegetables as it really brings out their flavour and is also a very easy cooking method. You can roast both the asparagus and the tomatoes in the same tray, provided it’s large enough, though the tomatoes will need a little more time in the oven (see my Instructions below). To save time boil the pasta and make the pesto while the vegetables are roasting.
This Asparagus Tomato Pasta with Oregano Hazelnut Pesto really is a super convenient lunch or weeknight meal idea.
If you like this recipe you might enjoy these other quick and easy MEAL IDEAS
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Yields 4 portions
5 minPrep Time
30 minCook Time
35 minTotal Time
- Pasta of your choice (enough for 4) cooked in salted water with 1 bay leaf (I used egg and spinach tagliatelle) - boil the pasta while the vegetables are in the oven
- 300 g asparagus
- 400 g cherry tomatoes
- Olive oil for drizzling
- For the PESTO:
- 25 g fresh oregano (leaves only)
- 50 g hazelnuts, lightly toasted
- 1/2 cup rapeseed oil
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 30 g parmesan, finely grated
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 F/ 200 C/ gas mark 6. You will need a large baking tray.
- Cut the tomatoes in half, place open side up on a baking tray in a single layer. Season and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven half way through roasting, add the asparagus (snap off and discard the woody ends first), spread in a single layer, season and drizzle with a little olive oil and pop back in the oven for another 15 minutes.
- To make the Pesto, combine the oregano, hazelnuts, garlic, parmesan and rapeseed oil, season to taste and blend to a slightly grainy consistency (make the pesto while the vegetables are in the oven, to save time). The pesto can also be made ahead and refrigerated (it will stay fresh for several days).
- Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and enjoy!