This weather could not be more perfect! The warm, the sunshine, the fresh veggies(my farmers market opens this weekend!), the promise of summer being right around the corner. For me, that means it's time to put away those heavy sauces and stir up some light and deliciously fresh tasting pasta salads. This is a springy derevation of my classic favorite, which I will have to share at some point, but while I am obsessing over the lovely asparagus in the markets right now, I have this bit of bright deliciousness for you to enjoy.
Spring Pesto Pasta Salad:
1/2 box of whole wheat pasta, twists or penne
1 1/2 cups of aspargus, about half a bunch
1 cup of mushrooms
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup of spinach
1/4 cup of Pesto sauce
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
A few fresh basil leaves
Salt and Pepper
Olive oil non-stick spray
Cook the pasta according to package directions. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and coat with non-stick. Chop aspargus into bite size pieces, each stalk should be in about 4 pieces. Add to the pan, add mushrooms as well. Cook until asparagus begin to stick and crisp, then add vegetable stock, reduce heat to low and coninue cooking until asparagus are tender, about 5 minutes. Add halved cherry tomatoes and spinach, cook until spinach begins to wilt, about 1 minute. Add cooked pasta and pesto sauce. Remove from heat and toss until combined, stir in basil and cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with additional parmesan, warm or chilled.