Orecchiette with Basil Pesto and Tomatoes
- 600 g orecchiette
- 16 spears asparagus, trimmed and quartered
- Ice cubes
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
- 24 cherry tomatoes, halved
- ¼ bunch basil, leaves torn, to serve
- Shaved parmesan, to serve
- ½ bunch basil, leaves picked
- 25 g pine nuts, toasted
- ½ clove garlic, roughly chopped
- 150 ml olive oil
- 50 g finely grated parmesan
- To make the basil pesto, put the basil, pine nuts and garlic into a food processor and process until finely chopped. With the motor running, slowly add enough of the oil to bind the pesto together. Add the cheese and process for 30 seconds.
- Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water according to the instructions on the packet, then drain.
- Blanch the asparagus in a saucepan of boiling salted water for 1-2 minutes, until just tender. Drain and refresh in a bowl of iced water.
- Use a sharp knife or mandoline to carefully cut the garlic into paper thin slices.
- Heat the olive oil in a large heavy based frying pan over high heat and fry the garlic until golden. Add the asparagus and tomato and sauté for 1 minute, then add the pasta and pesto. Cook, tossing until well combined. Serve scattered with torn basil leaves and shaved parmesan.