checking off my list. [linguine w. grilled asparagus pesto & lemon zest]

December 10th, 2013 by | comments

How is Christmas only two weeks away?! I’m having a minor panic attack, as I’m behind on just about everything–shopping, decorating, holiday baking, etc. But I’m kicking it in gear this week and going to check some things off my list. Baking is first on the list, of course. :)

linguine w. grilled asparagus pesto & lemon zest
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 1 bag (8 oz.) Trader Joe's Garlic Basil Linguine
  • 12 oz. asparagus, woody ends removed, then tossed in olive oil
  • ½ cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 3 cubes Dorot frozen crushed garlic (from Trader Joe's)
  • ¼ - ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Grilled chicken, if desired
  1. Heat an indoor skillet over medium-high heat, then lightly spray with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, lightly cover asparagus with olive oil. Transfer asparagus to grill and cook about 5 minutes, or until cooked and grill marks appear. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add pine nuts and toast until golden brown. Remove from heat.
  3. In a food processor, pulse toasted pine nuts and garlic until finely chopped. Add grilled asparagus. Gradually add olive oil while pulsing mixture, until asparagus is finely chopped and incorporated. Transfer pesto to a medium bowl, then stir in Parmesan and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a dash of salt and the linguine to the water; cook 4-6 minutes, or until pasta reaches desired texture. Reserve ½ cup pasta cooking water then drain pasta in a colander. Return pasta and reserved cooking water to the pot. Add pesto (will only use about ¾ of pesto) and lemon juice, and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Serve pasta hot; add grilled chicken on top, if desired.




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  • Time really flies, huh? Another year is about to end….
    The linguine looks delicious and satisfying.

  • looks DELICIOUS!

  • egg me on

    For reals! Seems like we just had Turkey Day and now I’ve got to start making Christmas cookies, oof. Anyway — this pasta looks great. I love pesto. :)

  • I don’t think you are alone in having a pre holiday panic attack! Weeks seem to go by quicker in the month of December! I immediately got sad to see the Trader Joe’s brand of linguine, I miss that store from Atlanta but have heard they will be heading to South Florida in 2014! Any pasta dish is comfort to me and this pesto sauce sounds really good, just enough, not overpowering, just as I like!

    • Ah, I can’t imagine life without Trader Joe’s! haha but glad you’re getting one in the new year. :)

  • This looks delicious, and so easy! I’m in pre-holiday panic mode here too, and really simple dishe are a god send. I love the addition of lemon.

  • You’re speaking my language, Caroline. This pasta sounds great!

  • Ani

    I have a recipe for asparagus pesto on my blog as well! So tasty :) I have done this, but with broccoli too – great results.

  • This looks simple – and delicious!! I had a bit of a panic attack today ’cause my sons and their families are arriving this coming Saturday for what we call our ‘Roy Christmas’. I’m feeling a bit better now that I’ve gotten the tree up but it’s still gonna be touch & go to be ready in a few days. (Still gotta make the French Canadian Meat Pies etc. etc. etc…..) ; o )

  • Also wanted to say what a good job you did on the photos – it’s so hard to photograph something so monochromatic !

    • Thank you so much, Cecile, I really appreciate it!!

  • Gosh this post made me missing my home for christmas even more now!
    the liquine is looks delish!
    btw, i just made brazilian nuts pesto, what a small world……

  • This looks divine Caroline. Hey, that rhymes! ;) I love how easy it is. I could throw this together on any busy week night! And it has all of my favorite flavors.

  • This is a nice to add in a Christmas dinner, simple yet delicious

  • Amy

    i know how you feel..there’s just so much to get done! This looks really yummy…i’m going to have to be on the lookout for that tjs pasta.

  • This is going on my list – of awesome dishes!