Spring pesto pasta with asparagus and chives is a simple and light spring pasta dish that is made with just a handful of ingredients in under 20 minutes (including prep!). Toss freshly cooked farfalle pasta with basil pesto, asparagus, chives, and cheese for the ultimate spring pasta recipe packed with incredible flavour. Honestly, this just tastes like spring exploded in my mouth. Serve it hot for an easy weeknight dinner, or serve it cold as a pasta salad for lunch.
With only a few short weeks until the official start of spring, I’m already seeing asparagus begin to pile up in my local markets. Which means this is the time of year when I overload on asparagus and make my favourite spring dishes. One bite of this spring pesto pasta with asparagus, and you too will be transported to warmer days.
And there’s something about pairing pesto with pasta that makes an otherwise heavy dish feel light. Just like Pesto Penne Pasta or Avocado Basil Pesto Spaghetti, Spring Pesto Pasta with Asparagus is seriously the easiest and lightest pasta dinner that you can make.
To make easy spring pesto pasta with asparagus, you need the following simple ingredients:
- pasta - You can use any type of pasta that you would like. I used farfalle pasta (also known as bow-tie pasta or butterfly pasta).
- asparagus - If you don’t like asparagus, no worries! Just sub in fresh english peas or sautéed ramps if you can find them.
- basil pesto - I love making my own basil pesto at home in just 5 minutes, but if you have a brand you know and love, use that. Plus, it will cut the prep time down too. You could also make a pesto with highly coveted garlic scapes, which are only in season during the early spring.
- lemon zest
- mozzarella cheese - I added a little mozzarella cheese to help bind the dish together. If you throw it in while the pasta is still warm, it melts beautifully.
- Parmesan cheese
How to Make the Best Spring Pesto Pasta with Asparagus
- Cook the asparagus. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add asparagus. Cook for 3 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl of ice water. Let cool, then drain.
- Boil the pasta. Bring the same pot of water back up to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 11 minutes, or until al dente. Then drain, reserving about ¼ cup of cooking water.
- Combine ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, combine pasta, asparagus, and basil pesto. Toss until pasta is evenly coated with pesto. If the sauce is too thick, begin pouring in some reserved pasta water (about 2 tablespoons at a time) until the sauce reaches desired consistency. Add chives, lemon zest, and mozzarella, and stir until just combined.
- Serve. Divide pasta into bowls, top with Parmesan cheese, and serve hot.
How to Serve Asparagus Pesto Pasta
Perhaps the best part of this asparagus pesto pasta is that it’s just as good served warm in the winter or spring as it is served cold or at room temperature as a pasta salad in the summer. Either way, this may definitely become your new favourite vegetarian pasta.
Serve this asparagus pasta with a side of crusty bread such as Pull Apart Garlic Bread or Rosemary Garlic Focaccia Bread. You can also serve it alongside a bowl of soup such as Creamless Asparagus Soup, Tomato Potato Soup, Creamy Cauliflower and Garlic Soup, or Light Cream of Broccoli Soup.
Tips for Making Spring Pesto Pasta
- Toss in a mixing bowl. When mixing the pasta and pesto together, do not just mix in the pot. Use a mixing bowl instead as the heat from the pot will cause the basil in the pesto to turn black.
- How to customize. You can customize this spring pesto pasta by adding in protein such as cooked chicken or shrimp.
- How to store. Spring pesto pasta is best served fresh or cold as a delicious pasta salad. Store any leftovers an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Serve leftovers cold as a pasta salad, rather than reheating as heating will cause the basil to turn black.
More Pasta Recipes
- Farfalle Pasta with Creamy Mushroom Sauce
- Pasta Bake with Sausage
- Spaghetti Carbonara
- Stovetop Mac and Cheese with White Cheddar
- Mussels Pasta in Tomato Sauce
- Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo Pasta Bake
- Creamy White Chicken and Spinach Lasagna
Did you make this recipe? I would greatly appreciate a comment and rating below, letting me know what you thought of the recipe. You can also snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @aheadofthyme or share it on the Pinterest pin so that I can follow along.