Yield
Makes 4 servings

A friend shared this pesto variation with Paulette Le Blanc. It's made from tender asparagus stems puréed wth garlic and basil.

How to Make It

Step 1

In a 5- to 6-quart pan, bring about 3 quarts water to a boil over high heat. Snap off and discard tough ends of asparagus. Add asparagus to boiling water. Cook, uncovered, until just barely tender to bite, 4 to 5 minutes. With tongs, lift out asparagus and drain; cool slightly.

Step 2

In a blender or food processor, combine lemon juice, oil, garlic, and basil. Return water in pan to a boil. Add fettuccine. Cook, uncovered, until barely tender to bite, about 3 minutes.

Step 3

Meanwhile, diagonally trim off top 3 to 4 inches of asparagus spears. Place asparagus tips in a colander. Coarsely chop stems and add to blender along with 6 tablespoons hot water from pasta pan. Whirl until smooth.

Step 4

Drain pasta into colander containing asparagus tips. Transfer tips and pasta to serving bowl. Pour asparagus purée over pasta and mix. Add salt, pepper, and cheese to taste.

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