Pasta With Asparagus, Blue Cheese and Walnuts on a table in a Studio
(Rey Lopez for The Washington Post/Food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post )
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Pasta With Asparagus, Blue Cheese and Walnuts

Here, pungent blue cheese, asparagus and walnuts come together to give this creamy pasta dish big flavor. Grated apple, mixed in just before serving, adds a fresh touch. If you prefer, use mild baby spinach in place of the peppery arugula and goat cheese instead of the blue cheese.

Refrigerate for up to 4 days.

Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen.


measuring cup
Servings: 6
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt, plus more as needed
  • 1 pound gemelli, penne or fusilli pasta
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup raw, unsalted walnuts, chopped
  • 4 cups lightly packed regular or baby arugula leaves from 1 large bunch, washed and thoroughly dried
  • 6 ounces strong blue cheese, such as Roquefort, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, halved and peeled


Time Icon Total: 30 mins
  1. Step 1

    Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a stockpot. Lightly salt and add the pasta, stir to separate and cook according to the package instructions, until al dente. Drain and return the pasta to the pot.

  2. Step 2

    While the pasta is cooking, in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of oil until it just begins to smoke. Add the asparagus, pepper and the 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Toss to coat and then spread the asparagus in a single layer and cook without stirring, until it begins to brown on one side, about 1 minute.

  3. Step 3

    Add the walnuts and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the asparagus is tender-crisp and the nuts are toasted, about 4 minutes. Add the arugula and toss until just starting to wilt, about 1 minute.

  4. Step 4

    Add the asparagus mixture, cheese, vinegar and the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil to the pasta and toss to combine.

  5. Step 5

    Divide the pasta among bowls, and use the coarse side of a box grater to grate a little apple over each bowl. Serve hot.

Nutritional Facts

Per serving (1 1/3 cups pasta)

  • Calories


  • Carbohydrates

    67 g

  • Cholesterol

    21 mg

  • Fat

    32 g

  • Fiber

    6 g

  • Protein

    21 g

  • Saturated Fat

    8 g

  • Sodium

    701 mg

  • Sugar

    7 g

This analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s advice.

Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen.

Tested by Ann Maloney