Italian, Pasta & Pizza, Side Dishes

pesto pasta salad with asparagus

Well it’s a gorgeous day out in Chicago today, but I’m laid up on the couch as I tried to lift a bunch of dirt (don’t ask) and pulled out my darn back…again. UGH! I hobbled on in back to the house hanging on Dave’s arm and after icing my back decided I was going to make this pasta recipe for our planned grilled steak + pasta salad dinner tonight. You can’t keep me down when it comes to pasta salad y’all! Likely NOT doctor recommended, but it’s the freakin’ weekend and I am so fidgety I can’t sit still!

Anyhoo, I’m glad I was able to make this dish because it’s quite tasty (and easy too)! I’m happy we’ll have a home cooked meal tonight even though I probably should have kept my butt on the ice pack. I think I’ll live. 😀

Hope everyone is having a good weekend!

1 lb rotini pasta
7 oz pesto (I use store-bought, b/c I don’t think homemade is better – I know, I know.)
juice of half lemon
1 bunch roasted + chopped asparagus
1 chopped orange bell pepper
1/4 cup minced red onion
1/2 tbs kosher salt
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
2 tbs olive oil

Turn the oven to 350 degrees to roast the asparagus. Trim the ends off of the asparagus so there are no tough parts left – easy to bend it and where it naturally breaks is where you cut the ends off. Toss the asparagus in 1 tbs olive oil and fresh cracked pepper and 1 tsp of kosher salt, then lay on a sheet pan, pop into the oven and cook for about 15 minutes, rotating the asparagus halfway through so one side doesn’t char.

Meanwhile get a large pot of salted water boiling to cook the box of rotini. Cook until al dente, then drain and add to a large bowl.

Add the pesto, lemon juice, chopped asparagus, chopped orange bell pepper, minced red onion, and salt + pepper into the bowl, and toss well until the pasta is well-coated in pesto. Add an extra tablespoon or more if the pasta appears to dry.

Refrigerate this for at least one hour before serving. That’s it! Crazy easy and an easy crowd pleaser for summer barbecues.


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