Asparagus Pesto with Gnocchi and Ham
- 12 ounces asparagus
- 3/4 cup basil leaves
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/3 cup walnut pieces
- 1/4 cup olive oil, or cooking oil
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced (6 cloves)
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 16-ounce package potato gnocchi, or 8 ounces rotini (about 4 cups)
- 2 cups ham, cubed
- Snap off and discard woody portions of asparagus. Cut into 1-inch pieces. Cook asparagus in a small amount of boiling water about 5 minutes or until tender. Drain and cool.
- For pesto, in a food processor or blender, combine asparagus, basil, cheese, walnuts, olive oil, water, garlic and pepper. Cover and process or blend until nearly smooth, scraping sides occasionally. Divide pesto into thirds. Transfer 2 portions to freezer containers. Freeze for up to 3 months. Set aside remaining portion.
- Prepare gnocchi or rotini according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, coat a skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Cook ham cubes in skillet until heated through. Stir remaining portion of the pesto into ham cubes; heat through. Drain gnocchi and toss with pesto-ham mixture.
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