This asparagus tomato pasta with oregano hazelnut pesto is a delicious vegetarian easy meal idea. It’s super easy to make and bursting with flavour!
Asparagus season is in full swing and today I am sharing a super quick and delicious recipe for asparagus tomato pasta with pesto. This easy pasta dish only takes about 30 minutes to put together and makes a light vegetarian meal perfect to enjoy on a warm spring day.
How to prep the asparagus
Asparagus is very easy to prepare. There is no need to peel and it cooks very quickly. All you need to do is snap off the tough woody ends, which are approx. 2-3 cm long. Then just rinse the asparagus, pat dry, place on a baking sheet, season and drizzle with a little oil and roast for 15 minutes.
How to choose the best tasting asparagus
For me the best tasting asparagus tends to be the thinner variety. The really thick asparagus is usually not as sweet. When buying this vegetable avoid wilted looking asparagus and choose bright green fresh looking, firm asparagus.
How to roast the asparagus and tomatoes
Roasting is a great way of preparing vegetables! 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. The tomatoes, however, will need a little more time in the oven (see my Instructions below).
Whilst the vegetables are in the oven (and the pasta is cooking away) make the pesto.
How to make fresh oregano pesto
Pesto recipes are usually very easy to throw together and this one is no exception.
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 zucchini noodles with parsley pesto, where I simply swapped basil for parsley. I’ve also made an easy parsley and avocado pesto. 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 hazelnuts 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. Simply place all the ingredients in a blender and blitz until well combined but still slightly grainy.
How long will oregano pesto stay fresh for
Any leftovers can be stored in an air tight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. After that the pesto may become prone to discoloration and will not taste as fresh.
What is the best oil for pesto
I think this depends on personal preference. For me olive oil can be a little overpowering when used raw (especially in larger quantities). So I usually choose cold pressed rapeseed oil for my pesto recipes. Rapeseed oil has a sweetish, slightly nutty subtle flavour and is very nutritious. It pairs really well with pesto ingredients without overpowering them. But if you can’t imagine a pesto recipe without olive oil I recommend choosing a mild tasting variety.
What is the best pasta to use in this asparagus tomato pasta recipe
This also really depends on personal preference. I chose spinach pasta for its green colour, to match my green asparagus and create a bit of contrast with the tomatoes. However, ordinary tagliatelle would be just fine as would be either penne or fussili if you prefer.
To save time boil the pasta and make the pesto while the vegetables are roasting.
If you like this easy pasta recipe check out also this collection of 10+ Best Healthy Vegetarian Pasta Recipes.
More easy asparagus recipes
Asparagus Tomato Pasta with Oregano Pesto
- 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 good vegetable oil or mild olive oil I used cold pressed rapeseed
- 1 garlic clove finely chopped
- 30 g parmesan or similar, 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.
- Halve the tomatoes and place open side up on a baking sheet 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 briefly to a slightly grainy consistency (make the pesto while the vegetables are in the oven, to save time).
- Combine the pasta with the vegetables, pour over a desired amount of the pesto and serve.
Pin Asparagus Tomato Pasta with Oregano Pesto
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I am bringing this healthy asparagus tomato pasta recipe to #CookBlogShare, Meat Free Mondays, Inspire Me Monday, Spring Crafts, and Mix It Up Monday. Also sharing with Melt In Your Mouth Monday, Made By You Mondays, What’d You Do This Weekend and Fiesta Friday