Filled Pasta with Pesto Primavera

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4 servings

Filled Pasta with Pesto Primavera

Photo: iStockphoto

The flavour of this simple salad rests on the quality of the ingredients, so buy the best pasta and pesto sauce you can find. Look for pasta that is filled with mushrooms or spinach along with cheese


  • 1 cup cut thin asparagus , (tough ends snapped off; 1-in. pieces)
  • 1 350- to 500-g pkg fresh or frozen cheese-filled pasta , such as ravioli, agnolotti or tortellini
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup pesto , (preferably the refrigerated kind)
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes , halved
  • 1 to 2 tbsp water , reserved from cooking pasta
  • salt , to taste
  • black pepper , to taste


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add asparagus and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until tender-crisp. Scoop asparagus from the water with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  • Add pasta to boiling water and cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain pasta, reserving a small amount of the cooking water.
  • In a large bowl or storage container, toss the pasta, while still hot, with pesto sauce (start with 1/4 cup/50 mL and add more if needed), olive oil and tomatoes until pasta is coated and tomatoes have cooked slightly from the heat of the pasta.
  • Add a little of the reserved pasta cooking water to thin the sauce if necessary. Add asparagus and season with salt and pepper to taste.