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Pasta with Pesto and Peas

May 15, 2013

When I lived with my sister this used to be one of our favorite recipes.  We used to make it all the time.  I probably hadn’t made it in over year when last week I decided I needed it my life again.  This is so easy to whip together and so delish.  It is the perfect Summer pasta.  The peas and pine nuts pair together so perfectly with the pesto and the shreds of Parmesan make this even better.  I used store bought pesto- if you shop at Costco they have great homemade pesto there for cheap but I am sure this would be even better if you made your own.  I only used one type of pasta, the spirals are my favorite because I feel like the sauce really sticks in the grooves.  I have made this with or without the mayo so if you hate mayo you can totally leave it out but it does help the pasta stay creamier.   Add more pesto if you leave the mayo out.   If you wanted to serve this for a dinner it would be killer with grilled chicken or shrimp over top!


:: P A S T A  W I T H   P E S T O  A N D  P E A S ::
Adapted from Ina Garten

 3/4 pound fusilli pasta

3/4 pound bow tie pasta

1/4 cup good olive oil

1 1/2 cups pesto (packaged or see recipe below)

1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 1/4 cups good mayonnaise

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan

1 1/2 cups frozen peas, defrosted

1/3 cup pignoli (pine nuts)

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Cook the fusilli and bow ties separately in a large pot of boiling
salted water for 10 to 12 minutes until each pasta is al dente. Drain
and toss into a bowl with the olive oil. Cool to room temperature.

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, puree the
pesto, spinach, and lemon juice. Add the mayonnaise and puree. Add the
pesto mixture to the cooled pasta and then add the Parmesan, peas,
pignoli, salt, and pepper. Mix well, season to taste, and serve at room


1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup pignoli (pine nuts)

3 tablespoons chopped garlic (9 cloves)

5 cups fresh basil leaves, packed

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 cups good olive oil

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Place the walnuts, pignoli, and garlic in the bowl of a food
processor fitted with a steel blade. Process for 15 seconds. Add the
basil leaves, salt, and pepper. With the processor running, slowly pour
the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until the
pesto is thoroughly pureed. Add the Parmesan and puree for a minute. Use
right away or store the pesto in the refrigerator or freezer with a
thin film of olive oil on top.

Notes: Air is the enemy of pesto. For freezing, pack it in
containers with a film of oil or plastic wrap directly on top with the
air pressed out.

To clean basil, remove the leaves, swirl them in a bowl of water,
and then spin them very dry in a salad spinner. Store them in a closed
plastic bag with a slightly damp paper towel. As long as the leaves are
dry they will stay green for several days.

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  1. This looks so great. Would never have thought to add mayo to pesto!

  2. Can we say yum?? Looks delish!

  3. caycee says:

    Holy Crap this looks so good woman! Did you put that no-mayo info in there for me šŸ˜‰

  4. Amber says:

    I use Fage Greek Yogurt instead of mayo. Just made chicken salad last night this way. I may try this pesto pasta recipe soon. I love that greek yogurt provides a lower calorie option.

  5. Delicious! I usually swap green peas for edamame šŸ˜‰

  6. Now I know what I'm making for dinner!! :0)

  7. The Now says:

    YUM! I had garlic pesto with pasta last night…wheat pasta bc I am trying to eat better..reg is so much better!! xo

  8. Taylor says:

    YUM! and congraaaaats on your instagram news šŸ™‚ eee!!!


  9. 17 Perth says:

    Yum. Pinning, pinning away. šŸ™‚

  10. Jill says:

    you always have the best recipes!!