Asparagus Pesto and Prosciutto Pasta Shells Recipe


Asparagus Pesto Pasta RecipeFresh asparagus makes this pasta recipe a classic favourite. It’s light, refreshing and elegantly topped with ribbons of salty prosciutto for a perfectly balanced pesto dish. Try this recipe for dinner or  and you’ll have a pasta masterpiece on your hands.

If you can’t find the time to make the asparagus pesto from scratch, you can still enjoy a delicious version of this recipe. Simply substitute a good quality store-bought pesto like Barilla Basil and Rocket Pesto. Easy!

Serves: 4 – 6


  • shell shaped pasta: 500 g
  • asparagus, trimmed and cut into 5 cm pieces: 500 g
  • whole raw almonds: ½ cup
  • garlic: 2 cloves
  • salt: ½ teaspoon
  • black pepper: ½ teaspoon
  • Parmigiano Reggiano: ½ cup
  • lemon zest: 1 lemon
  • olive oil: ½ cup
  • prosciutto, cut into thin strips (ribbons): 500 gm


Step 1: Prepare a large bowl of ice water and set aside.

Step 2: Bring salted water to a boil for pasta.

Step 3: Using a steamer and a pot, steam the asparagus spears covered for 4 minutes. Transfer asparagus to ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain asparagus and pat dry.

Asparagus Pesto Pasta Recipe - Step 3 Asparagus Pesto Pasta - Step 3A

Step 4: In a food processor, pulse asparagus, nuts, almonds, garlic, salt, pepper, cheese and lemon zest until coarsely chopped. Then, with the processor running, stream in olive oil. Process until smooth.

Asparagus Pesto Pasta - Step 4Asparagus Pesto Pasta - Step 4A

Step 5: Cook pasta in boiling water until al dente. Reserve 1/3 cup pasta water on the side and drain pasta.

Step 6: Add pasta and reserved water to the bowl with the pesto. Toss to coat and top with prosciutto ribbons before serving.

Asparagus Pesto Pasta - Step 5Asparagus Pesto Pasta - Step 6A

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