Pesto always appears so gourmet, but it's the easiest thing this side of your food processor. When was this great rumor about pesto fanciness spread? Do you think it was some council of old timey Italians scheming to fool Popes and Doges? I'm painting a great mental visual on that one that includes elaborate headwear and painterly hand gestures.
Whoa... I just went all college art history on pesto. Let's all calm down and eat some noodles. Here's the deal... pesto is simple and people think it's fancy. No sense in telling them it's super easy, just take the credit.
This version strays from the traditional basil, subbing in springy peas, mint and arugula; all rounded out with asparagus and prosciutto. And seriously, I made this in about 15 minutes on a weeknight. Fancy weeknight win!
Sweet Pea Pesto
1 bunch asparagus, cut in 1-inch chunks
1lb angel hair pasta
1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1/2 cup mint leaves
2 handfuls arugula
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 slices prosciutto, cut into 1-inch pieces.
Fill a large pot with water, cover and bring to a boil. Add asparagus to boiling water and cook for two minutes. Use a skimmer to remove asparagus to a bowl of ice water. Add pasta to remaining boiling water and cook according to package instructions.
Combine peas, parmesan, mint, arugula, salt and pepper in food processor. Pulse several times and then stream in olive oil while processor runs.
Add prosciutto to a small pan over medium heat and cook until lightly crisped, about 2-3 minutes.
Toss cooked pasta with pesto sauce and asparagus. Top with prosciutto and enjoy.