08 May2013


Sometimes, I feel like eating mostly vegetables, and something more substantial than say a large salad. It’s also been so hot lately that minimal cooking would also be nice, but not always possible. I made a pili nut and basil pesto a few days ago and had half of that in the fridge and the other half in the freezer, ready for a quick lunch. We also had some nice asparagus and these wonderfully small and ripe tomatoes on hand, so this is what I made for lunch…


Into a large pot of salted water, I blanched the asparagus for about 1 minute and fished them out with a strainer. Into the same water, yes already slightly green, I added some pasta and let this cook for 8-10 minutes until al dente.


Meanwhile, in a saucepan, I added the tomatoes and a tablespoon of olive oil and some salt and let those heat through. Added the asparagus and waited for the pasta to finish cooking…


Drain and add the pasta to the tomatoes and asparagus, add several tablespoons of the basil-pili nut pesto and toss gently to mix.


Serve with more grated parmesan on the side. A very easy, colorful and satisfying and delicious lunch. And balanced too… there’s protein from the pili nuts. :)



  1. mayk says:

    looks yummy healthy

    May 8, 2013 | 8:52 am


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  3. ami says:

    MM, I think there’s a typo above with ‘a tablespoon of live oil’. Missing O for olive.

    May 8, 2013 | 9:44 am

  4. cherryoyvr says:

    Looks like a keeper! I am loving this post and yesterday’s too even though they are worlds apart.

    May 8, 2013 | 10:24 am

  5. Corrine says:

    Delish! Quick n easy too. MM, how does the taste of pili nut differ from pine nuts in the pesto? haven’t tried pili because I don’t have access to good ones.

    May 8, 2013 | 12:56 pm

  6. Marketman says:

    Corrine, if I didn’t tell you I switched pili for pine nuts, I think most folks would be hard-pressed to identify the substitution. I used raw pili nuts, that I blanched and peeled then roasted before using in the pesto… they have a creamy white flesh and a perhaps slightly stronger flavor than the pine nuts… ami, thanks, will edit.

    May 8, 2013 | 1:15 pm

  7. theresa says:

    MM, you made it sound so easy to make and it looks so delicious i would love a bowl right now! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    May 8, 2013 | 1:40 pm

  8. Betchay says:

    Vibrant colors…..looks so appetizing. French beans will work too in place of asparagus.

    May 8, 2013 | 1:42 pm

  9. Isa says:

    I prefer pistachio nuts in my pesto or roasted almonds !

    May 8, 2013 | 2:37 pm

  10. Kasseopeia says:

    The colors are beautiful and features one of my favorite green foods: asparagus. I sometimes do this with broccoli too, but usually with a cashew-basil or arugula-sunflower pesto – and with penne or farfalle most of the time. Easier to spear with a fork and therefore quicker transport to gaping maw. =)

    May 8, 2013 | 6:19 pm

  11. khristianshyne says:


    May 8, 2013 | 7:58 pm

  12. Papa Ethan says:

    The composition looks very Christmasy. (Is there such a word?) =)

    May 8, 2013 | 10:42 pm

  13. Footloose says:

    @Papa Ethan, my exact sentiments…

    On another not so related matter:

    “If, however, you enjoy trying different kinds of food and learning as much as you can about every aspect of whatever you are eating – if you are, shall we say, hungry to develop an intimate knowledge of everything you consume – then you, like me, are an epicure. Call yourself one.”

    I would like to share the link for the thoughtful article from which I quote the above paragraph because it so fits the writer and the majority of the readers of this blog. Here’s the link:


    May 9, 2013 | 12:53 am

  14. Theodore says:

    WOW… it look just super tasty. Thanks for sharing the recipe. Love the very colorful pictures.

    May 9, 2013 | 2:45 am

  15. Natie says:

    I am therefore, an Epicure…a title I will proudly add to academic degree…this one will be lifelong education..every day is a day in this learning institution..perfect attendance..MM’s is an online course…one of the worthy few…

    Going down to seek for pasta ingredients..I think walnuts and or Brazil nuts, blanched and roasted will do… stomach rumbles….a sign I listen to….always…

    May 9, 2013 | 3:08 am

  16. joanie says:

    looks really good and i love the color. i’m definitely going to make that

    May 9, 2013 | 3:27 am

  17. tet says:

    MM, you did justice to our pili … I’d say Pili is World Class ! I am wondering… do we have any Pili farms at all?

    May 9, 2013 | 4:36 am

  18. PITS, MANILA says:

    i love equal proportions of pasta with veggies. sometimes even more of the veggies …

    May 9, 2013 | 8:48 am

  19. ling says:


    May 15, 2013 | 8:16 am

  20. prince says:

    Hi Marketman,

    I never try asparagus to pasta but I want you to know that I’ve tried it all ready after I read your recipe. My mom and Dad were really liked my cook, So they ask me Where did I get the recipe.

    Did you ever try putting a tuna to your pasta then mushrooms with asparagus and baby tomatoes that is nice Marketman.
    Last Question Did you try beans to replace to asparagus?

    Thanks for sharing the recipe.


    May 16, 2013 | 10:48 am

  21. Slightly Epicurean says:

    Yum! Bagay po kaya if I make it a little spicier? I have this habit of adding chili flakes or chili powder in pasta dishes. Thanks for sharing MM! As always, you never fail to inspire beginners like me.

    May 16, 2013 | 5:24 pm

  22. Prince says:

    Hi Slightly Epicurean,

    It’s up to you! If you want your pasta while you make it spicy, for me I like that! Because like you
    Adding chili flakes or chili powder is also my habit.

    Try to put some oil of spicy tuna! It’s really really good Slighty!

    May 31, 2013 | 10:29 am

  23. Slightly Epicurean says:

    Thanks Prince! I appreciate the suggestion. =)

    Sep 25, 2013 | 3:53 pm


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