Ramp Pesto Spaghetti with Grilled Asparagus

It’s springtime! And it’s ramp season! After making a big batch of ramp & kale pesto, I’m ready to use it in a pasta dish. I love pasta, and until recently didn’t really think of it as ageless food, however there are some great pastas out there these days! Pastas made with wheat like Kamut, Einkorn, or Spelt or gluten-free pastas made with quinoa, rice, or corn are wonderful options. 

Ramp Pesto Spaghetti with Grilled Asparagus

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6
Author Tania Van Pelt

Ingredients

For the pesto pasta

  • 3/4-1 cup ramp & kale pesto
  • Salt
  • 1 pound spaghetti

For the asparagus

  • 1 pound fresh asparagus
  • Olive oil as needed about 1 tablespoon
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 lemon

Instructions

For the asparagus

  1. Clean asparagus and snap off the woody ends of the asparagus; most spears will break an inch or two from the bottom.
  2. To grill the asparagus spears, toss them with about a tablespoon of oil, mixing with your hands until spears are coated. Squeeze with fresh lemon juice and again use your hands to coat each spear and then season well with salt and pepper.
  3. Meanwhile, start a charcoal fire or heat a gas grill; if you're cooking indoors, heat a cast-iron or other heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it smokes.
  4. Grill until tender and browned in spots, turning once or twice, about 5 minutes.
  5. To pan grill the asparagus, do not oil or season them. Just toss them in the hot skillet, and cook, turning the spears individually as they brown, until tender, 5 minutes. Season them after cooking with olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper.
  6. Cut the warm asparagus on the bias in 1-2 inch pieces. Set aside.

For the pasta

  1. Bring water in pot to a boil again with a big pinch of salt and cook spaghetti, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 10-15 minutes; drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid.
  2. Toss spaghetti and 1/2 cup cooking liquid with 1/2 cup of ramp & kale pesto, adding more cooking liquid and pesto as needed until the sauce coats pasta. Toss the asparagus in with the pasta until it too is coated in sauce. Serve immediately with a big green salad.

Recipe Notes

The recipe on this site for ramp & kale pesto makes a bigger batch than needed in this dish. Use the rest of the pesto over simply prepared fish, chicken, meat, or baked tofu. It works well with pretty much any protein, even eggs!