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Playing Cavatelli with Grilled Asparagus, Green Onions and Lemon-Herb-Pistachio Pesto


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and thinly sliced on an angle
  • 1 bunch scallions or spring onions, whites and light greens, roots trimmed and thinly sliced on an angle
  • 1 cup fresh peas
  • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley tops, packed
  • 1 cup mint and tarragon leaves combined, packed
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon or lime
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 fresno, jalapeño or Serrano pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Sicilian pistachios, lightly toasted
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus additional for drizzling
  • 1/4 cup grated Pecorino cheese
  • 1 pound cavatelli


Serves: 4


Bring a pot of water on a boil for the pasta.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with olive oil and butter. Sauté asparagus and onions 2-3 minutes; add in peas toss to heat through, 2-3 minutes.

In the bowl of a food processor, add herbs, lemon zest and juice, garlic, chili pepper, pistachios, salt and pepper, and pulse-chop into a pesto. Stream in 1/4 cup EVOO with the machine on then scrape pesto into a large serving bowl. Stir in Pecorino.
Salt boiling water and cook pasta 6-7 minutes, undercooking it by 1 minute from package directions.  Remove 1 cup starchy, salty cooking water, add it to pesto. Drain pasta and add it to the pesto along with the asparagus, scallions and peas; toss to combine. Drizzle with EVOO to finish.