Pasta with Roasted Asparagus and Almond Pesto by Kari Simpson, caregiver

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Skill Level
Preparation Time 20 minutes Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 Cost Per Serving $2.79
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15 spearsAsparagus, trimmed
2 cupsGrape Tomatoes
1/2 cupSliced Almonds
1/4 cupFresh Basil
4 tbspExtra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tbspParmesan Cheese, grated
To TasteSea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Energy Boosters
Olive Oil (in addition to olive oil in the recipe)
Toasted Breadcrumbs
Protein Boosters
Almonds (in additino to almonds in recipe)
Ricotta Cheese
Salmon or Tuna (baked or canned)


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.
  3. Arrange the asparagus in a single layer on half of a large, rimmed baking sheet. Arrange the tomatoes on the other half of the sheet. Drizzle both with 1 tbsp of olive and season with ¼ tsp of salt. Toss to coat.
  4. Roast on the top rack until the tomatoes have collapsed and the asparagus is bright green about 20 minutes.
  5. While the vegetables roast, put the almonds on another rimmed baking sheet and toast on the bottom rack, stirring occasionally for 10 to 12 minutes. Reserve 1 tsp of the almonds for garnish and put the remaining almonds in a food processor or blender.
  6. Remove the tips from the asparagus and set aside. Put the rest of the asparagus (the stems), the basil, cheese, ½ tsp of salt and the remaining 3 tbsp of olive oil into the blender. Pulse until a coarse paste forms. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and transfer to a large serving bowl.
  7. Boil and cook the pasta according to the box instructions. Drain (reserving ½ cup of the cooking liquid)
  8. Add the pasta to the pesto and toss to coat. If necessary, add some of the reserved cooking water to loosen the pesto to a saucy consistency. Garnish with the tomatoes, asparagus tips and almonds.


  • Protein is needed to build and maintain muscle and for a strong immune system.
  • To boost protein in meals and snacks, include protein from animal sources (chicken, fish, meat, eggs, milk, yogurt and cheese) and/or from plant sources (beans, lentils, chickpeas, tofu and other foods made from soybeans, nuts and seeds).
  • If you need to gain weight, boost energy (calories) with healthy fats such as olive oil. Just 1 tbsp of oil has 120 calories. This is the same as a piece of bread but doesn't fill you up as much.