Monday, July 15, 2024

Sweet Pea Pesto Pasta – Fit Foodie Finds

Sweet Pea Pesto Pasta – Fit Foodie Finds


This Sweet Pea Pesto Pasta is SO fresh, creamy, and flavorful — it’s basically the perfect summer pasta dish. The homemade pesto is packed with wholesome ingredients like sweet peas, fresh herbs, pistachios, and parmesan and tossed in al dente pasta. 

Ready in under 30 minutes, it’s the perfect nourishing meal for those busy weeknights.

A bowl of pesto pasta garnished with grated cheese and nuts, with ingredients like peas and basil leaves on the side.

Now that I’ve made my own homemade pesto sauce, I can’t go back. Not only is the texture and flavor an absolute game-changer, but it’s also surprisingly easy to make. No more artificial ingredients or preservatives, just wholesome ingredients that elevate this pasta dish to the max!

Just make your basil pesto, cook your pasta, and combine. That’s it! This sweet pea pesto pasta proves that healthy food can be simple AND delicious.

Sweet Pea Pesto Pasta – What You Need

  • Frozen sweet peas: We like to use frozen peas in this recipe for convenience, but you can also use fresh peas if they are in season.
  • Fresh herbs: Fresh basil and fresh mint make up the base of this pesto sauce, adding a bright and refreshing flavor.
  • Grated parmesan cheese: The salty and nutty flavor of parmesan cheese adds depth to the pesto sauce. It’s so good!
  • Pistachios: Instead of the traditional pine nuts, we use pistachios in our pesto. They add a unique flavor and texture to the sauce.
  • Fresh lemon juice: A splash of acidity really takes this pesto to the next level. It brightens up all of the flavors and adds a little zing.
  • Fusilli pasta: We love the shape and texture of this corkscrew pasta, but feel free to use any type of pasta you have on hand.
  • High-speed blender: A blender or food processor is necessary to make the pesto sauce. We recommend using a high-speed blender for best results.
A bowl of creamy green pea and mint soup with a spoon, surrounded by peas, mint leaves, and spices on a light surface.

Ingredient Swaps & Add-Ins

To make this pasta heartier, add in some cooked red bell peppers, chicken, or shrimp. You can also try adding other types of herbs, like parsley or cilantro, to mix up the flavor.

For toppings or garnish, we love some fresh lemon zest, sliced green onion, or a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds for added crunch.

A bowl of rotini pasta topped with creamy green avocado sauce.A bowl of rotini pasta topped with creamy green avocado sauce.

Pro Tips for the BEST Sweet Pea Pesto Pasta

If the sauce is not blending, add 1-2 tablespoons more water to the sauce. 

We used frozen, cooked peas. If you are using fresh peas, be sure to blanch the peas before making the pesto.

If the pesto pasta is too thick for your liking, add 1-2 tablespoons of pasta water to the bowl and toss.  

We used fusilli pasta, but any small, shaped pasta will work.

A bowl of pesto pasta garnished with peas, nuts, basil leaves, and grated cheese, served on a light surface.A bowl of pesto pasta garnished with peas, nuts, basil leaves, and grated cheese, served on a light surface.

How to Store

This pasta dish is best enjoyed fresh, but you can store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat, simply heat it up in a pan with a splash of water or broth. 

Note: The pesto may discolor slightly due to oxidation, but the flavor will still be delicious.

A bowl of pesto pasta with peas and grated cheese, garnished with herbs.A bowl of pesto pasta with peas and grated cheese, garnished with herbs.

Sweet Pea Pesto Pasta Recipe

This sweet pea pesto pasta is a perfect balance of fresh flavors and comforting pasta. With frozen sweet peas, fresh herbs, and pistachios as the star ingredients in the homemade pesto sauce, this dish is both wholesome and decadent.

Prep Time15 minutes

Active Time10 minutes

Yield: 4

Calories:

Materials

Pesto

  • 1 cup frozen sweet peas thawed
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 5 leaves fresh basil
  • 5 leaves fresh mint
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup pistachios salted and roasted
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon water

Pasta

  • 8 oz. fusilli pasta
  • ½ cup frozen sweet peas thawed
  • cup chopped pistachios salted and roasted
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • Using a high-speed blender, blend the sweet peas, garlic, basil, mint, parmesan cheese, pistachios, salt, olive oil, lemon juice, and water until smooth and creamy. Be sure to scrape down the sides. Set aside.

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook until the pasta is al dente, about 5-7 minutes.

  • Set some pasta water aside and strain the pasta.

  • Transfer the pasta to a large bowl and add the pesto. Toss until the pasta is coated. Add the sweet peas, pistachios, and parmesan cheese. Mix until combined.

  • If serving hot, serve immediately. If serving as a cold pasta salad, cover and refrigerate until cold.

Notes

  • If the sauce is not blending, add 1-2 tablespoons more water to the sauce.
  • We used frozen, cooked peas. If you are using fresh peas, be sure to blanch the peas before making the pesto.
  • If the pesto pasta is too thick for your liking, add 1-2 tablespoons of pasta water to the bowl and toss.
  • We used fusilli pasta, but any small, shaped pasta will work.



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