Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Leili and I love pesto! Ok, it’s no secret that we like to play around and reinvent ways to create this delicious green sauce. I mean, who wouldn’t? It’s fresh, adaptable, and goes with everything. This ginger scallion version is no different.
This one was recently inspired by the sauce paired with the poached chicken from a while ago. The flavor in this combination is no stranger to me – the pairing of sautéed scallions and ginger is a couple I grew up with. It’s partly spicy, zesty, and has all the characteristics of spring. I know it recently snowed this past week in New England, but spring is definitely on its way here.
So to keep the original flavor profiles intact, scallions and ginger are the big players in this pesto. To give it more depth and newness, garlic and toasted almonds are helping out.
For some extra spring accessories, asparagus were thrown into the mix. I definitely encourage you to try this with other vegetables, too, to add some fiber and color. Broccoli and zucchini come to mind. This recipe makes about one cup of pesto, so you’ll definitely have extra to experiment with. This pesto is also vegan, but a little cheese never hurts.
If you’re skeptical about this, may I brag and mention that my mom, the OG of this scallion-ginger combo, loved it?
Ginger Scallion Pesto Pasta
Serves about 2
2 bunches of scallions
3 cloves of garlic
2 thumb size pieces of ginger
Salt and pepper
1/8 cup sliced almonds
8-9 asparagus stalks, chopped into 2″ pieces, around 1 cup
1/3 pound spaghetti
Extra chopped scallions for garnishing (optional)
Preheat oven to 400F. Heat a pot of salted water for the pasta.
Once scallions, garlic, and ginger have been washed and trimmed, place on a roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place in the center of the oven and roast for 10-15 minutes, or until the greens of the scallions start to brown. You should be able to smell a beautiful aroma at this point as well. Transfer the scallions, ginger, and garlic into a food processor or blender – make sure the olive oil gets transferred, too.
Tip: If you want extra depth in the pesto, roast the ginger and garlic a few minutes longer until they brown a bit more to get a richer flavor.
In a small frying pan, toast sliced almonds over medium heat for 3-5 minutes until fragrant, or slightly brown. Transfer toasted nuts to the food processor. Add salt, pepper, and 1/4 cup olive oil – you can always put in more later. Start the food processor by quickly chopping up the aromatics, and then start blending at a higher speed until you have a pasty consistency.
Check the pesto: add more olive oil if necessary, taste for seasoning – blend again to achieve the desired thickness.
Add the spaghetti into the boiling water and while it cooks, let’s get started with the asparagus.
In a dry skillet over medium high heat, throw in the asparagus and stir every few minutes. Once they are tender and slightly brown, around 7-8 minutes, turn off the heat. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Let them rest while the pasta cooks.
Once the spaghetti has been cooked and drained, toss with scallion ginger pesto, throw in the asparagus, and some final seasoning if necessary.
Serve this tasty pasta on warm plates and garnish with chopped scallions. For the cheese lovers, go ahead and grate some fresh Parmesan onto these plates.