Asparagus Pesto Pasta

START TO FINISH: 25 minutes MAKES 6 servings

1 pound asparagus spears

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

1⁄4 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese (1 ounce)

2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted

1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel

2 cloves garlic, quartered

1⁄4 teaspoon salt

1⁄4 teaspoon ground black pepper

3 tablespoons olive oil

10 ounces dried fettuccine

1 Snap off and discard woody bases from asparagus; rinse. Cut asparagus into 2-inch pieces. In a covered large saucepan cook asparagus and peas in a small amount of boiling, lightly salted water for 3 to 5 minutes or until tender; drain.

2 For pesto, in a blender or food processor combine half of the asparagus and peas, the cheese, half of the nuts, the lemon peel, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cover and blend or process with several on/off turns until a paste forms, stopping the machine several times and scraping the sides.

3 With the machine running slowly, gradually add oil and blend or process to the consistency of soft butter. Set aside.

4 Cook pasta in boiling, lightly salted water according to package directions; drain. Return pasta to hot pan; toss pasta with pesto.

5 To serve, top pasta mixture with the remaining cooked asparagus and peas. Sprinkle with the remaining pine nuts.

PER SERVING: 301 cal., 11 g total fat (2 g sat. fat), 3 mg chol., 203 mg sodium, 41 g carb., 4 g fiber, 10 g pro.