Springtime Spaghetti 
with Pesto, Asparagus & Zucchini

Bring spring to your dinner table with this garden-fresh spaghetti packed with seasonal herbs, asparagus and zucchini. If you have a shredder attachment for your food processor, save time and use it to shred the zucchini. Save the prettiest basil leaves from the bunch to sprinkle over each dish before serving.

Darren Kemper
Prep Time
30 min
30 min


  • 2 cups packed fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup toasted 
unsalted walnuts
  • 2 small cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp ground black 
pepper, divided
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt, divided
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 12 oz thin asparagus 
spears, trimmed and cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 1 zucchini, trimmed and 
cut into matchsticks 
or shredded
  • 1 cup frozen petite or baby peas, thawed
  • 8 oz whole-grain spaghetti (TRY: Jovial Whole Grain Einkorn Spaghetti)
  • 1/2 cup grated or sliced Parmesan cheese
  • Zest of 1 lemon


  1. In a food processor, pulse basil, walnuts, garlic, ½ tsp pepper and ¼ tsp salt, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl, until finely chopped. With processor running, slowly drizzle in oil, then ¼ cup water and blend until a chunky sauce forms.
  2. Mist a large skillet with cooking spray and heat on medium-high. Add asparagus and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Add 1/3 cup water and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until asparagus is tender-crisp and no liquid remains, about 3 minutes. Add zucchini, peas and remaining ½ tsp pepper and ¼ tsp salt and cook, stirring frequently, until zucchini is tender, about 2 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large pot, cook pasta al dente according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water. Return pasta to pot.
  4. Add asparagus mixture and basil mixture to pasta and heat on low, stirring gently to coat. Gradually stir in reserved cooking water, 1 tbsp at a time, until sauce reaches desired consistency. Divide among plates and top with Parmesan and lemon zest, dividing evenly.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size 2 cups
  • Calories 493
  • Carbohydrate Content 47 g
  • Cholesterol Content 9 mg
  • Fat Content 27 g
  • Fiber Content 8 g
  • Protein Content 18 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 5 g
  • Sodium Content 486 mg
  • Sugar Content 5 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat Content 0 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content 8 g