Pea Pesto Pasta is so fresh and delicious. We absolutely love authentic pesto sauce made with fresh basil, but when I decided to play around with variations of pesto, we fell in love with this dish immediately.
Besides being vibrant and beautiful in appearance, the taste is really delicious and keeps you coming back for more.
We love pea pesto pasta!
HOW TO MAKE PEA PESTO FOR PEA PESTO PASTA
Pea pesto is similar to your regular pesto recipe, but instead of using basil, we’re going with peas.
You’ll need to pull out your trusty food processor to make this delectable pesto. After quickly mashing the garlic to a paste with a pinch of salt, all of the ingredients (except for the oil and pasta) go into your processor for 3 for 4 good pulses.
Finally, with the motor still running, add in the oil in a slow steady stream. And that’s all there is to it! We think it’s best when there is still a nice texture to the pea pesto, so don’t over process.
FRESH PEAS VS. FROZEN PEAS
You may be wondering why we didn’t choose fresh peas from the farm or produce section of the supermarket. Well, those delicious summer peas that we all enjoy so much (DISCLAIMER: I didn’t love them as a kid, but grew out that quickly), are best known as English peas. These particular types of peas are best eaten within a few hours after they are picked. This is because after they are picked, their natural sugar turns to starch and make them less fresh and delicious.
Frozen peas, on the other hand, are picked right at the peak of their season and immediately frozen, locking in nutrition and flavor for optimal taste. Sugar snap peas, on the other hand, are easy to find fresh, and are wonderful for cooking, especially in a good stir fry!
Canned tomatoes are the same because they are picked at the height of their freshest and then pressure-sealed and canned, as to retain their original wonderful flavor , texture and nutritional value.
WE LOVE TO MAKE PEA PESTO WITH FUSILLI
Any pasta will do, but we just love fusilli. The multiple circular edges are perfect for the pea pesto to cling on to. Penne, Farfalle, and Macaroni are all great choices for this Pea Pesto Pasta. Learn about The Best Pasta for Pasta Salad from TheKitchn.com.
But let’s be honest, this dish is all about the pea pesto. Don’t get us wrong, we still absolutely LOVE traditional pesto, but this version is a bit lighter, and just such a lovely match to the pasta and the grated Parmesan cheese.
PEA PESTO MAKES AN EASY PASTA SALAD FOR SERVING GUESTS
And want to know something else that is fantastic about this Pea Pesto Pasta? It comes together in less than 20 minutes!
The salad is wonderful served warm or at room temperature and is perfect for showers, picnics, or a special gathering of friends and family. It’s also really wonderful when served with a microgreen salad.
Finishing it off with a nice healthy sprinkle of grated Parmesan is the perfect touch.
We love everything about this Pea Pesto Pasta and really think you will, too.
Besides being super easy and quick to make, it’s super delicious and healthy, too! How great is that?
Now, it’s not often you’ll hear me say this…but hurry up and get to your nearest frozen food section, and buy some frozen peas for this incredible Pea Pasta with Fusilli! You and your guests will love it!
Pea Pesto Pasta
- 10 oz. package frozen peas
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup pine nuts (even better when they are lightly toasted)
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated (plus additional for garnish)
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 lb fusilli, dried
- Cook peas according the package directions, then drain. Set aside.
- Using the back of a fork, mash the garlic with the salt until a rough paste forms.
- Add the peas, pine nuts, cheese, garlic paste, lemon zest and 1/2 teaspoon pepper into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times until finely chopped (you may need to scrape the sides down with a spatula, and pulse again).
- With the motor running, carefully pour in the oil until well incorporated.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of well-salted water until al dente (or according to package instructions). Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water, then drain the pasta into a colander.
- In a medium-size bowl, whisk the pesto with enough of the reserved pasta water to thin to the consistency of tomato sauce.
- Toss the pesto with the pasta and thin with more pasta water, if desired.
- Season with a pinch more salt and pepper and garnish with extra grated Parmesan cheese.