When I’m in a hurry to get something nutritious and filling in my stomach after a long day, I often turn to pasta dishes. I tend to load up my bowl of noodles with whatever “extras” I have in my fridge, and most of the time, that includes lots of vegetables! In fact, I try to keep my pasta-to-veggies ratio at about 1:1, so that I’m filling up on vitamin and mineral-rich foods and keeping my carb intake reasonable.
This pasta dish combines fresh asparagus and frozen green peas with loads of fresh basil pesto — it is bursting with flavour and nutrients, and takes a jiffy to prepare! With so much green goodness in my bowl, I couldn’t help but name it accordingly.
Green Giant Pasta
for one serving
one serving whole wheat spaghetti
8-10 asparagus spears
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 tsp fresh basil pesto (or 2 ice cubes of pesto, if you have it handy in your freezer!)
salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and preheat your oven to 350º.
2. While the water is heating, wash your asparagus and trim the wooden ends off. Place them on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and a bit of salt and pepper, and use your clean hands to toss the asparagus around to coat them in oil and spices. Put them in the oven for 5 to 8 minutes, shaking them once during the roasting process. Do not overcook these guys!
3. Once the water is boiling, cook your pasta according to your package’s directions. When the pasta is about half cooked, add the frozen peas to the water and bring to a boil again. Cook for another 3-4 minutes, until both the pasta and the peas are cooked through.
4. Once the asparagus is roasted to perfection, remove from the oven and slice the spears into 1-inch long pieces. Set aside until the pasta is ready.
5. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Stir in the asparagus and the pesto (if you’ve used cubes, make sure to defrost them in the microwave first), season with additional salt or pepper if required, and serve immediately!