A Sweet Pea & Pesto Pasta that makes for a quick weekly dinner, but an even better no fuss, no frills lunchtime treat.
The hard thing for me about trying to be semi-pescetarian/vegetarian is avoiding eating pasta all the time. I could seriously eat crawfish fettucini or shrimp scampi every single day.
In an attempt to lighten things up, I whipped together this Sweet Pea & Pesto Pasta and was genuinely surprised at how I didn’t miss the protein.
The homemade basil pesto comes together lightning fast, so in the time that it takes to steam the sweet peas and boil the pasta, you have a quick and delicious meal.
Of course, we are still riding the struggle bus with my husband wanting to know “where’s the meat?” and just like your toddlers, he will eat around the peas but even he said, “this was pretty good!”.
You could certainly add some shrimp, but it’s surprisingly filling and delicious on its own.
- 3/4 cups fresh basil leaves (or 1 tube Basil Puree, 2 ounces)
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 12 ounces pasta
- 1 1/2 cups (about 8 ounces) frozen green peas, thawed
- Cook pasta until al dente.
- Add basil leaves (or puree), Parmesan, pine nuts, salt and pepper to a food processor or blender. As the machine blends, drizzle in the olive oil. Continue blending until well combined, adding additional olive oil if needed. Set aside.
- Heat cream and butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the basil pesto and stir.
- Drain pasta and place in a serving bowl. Add the peas and pesto little by little until the salad is dressed. Toss to combine.
What I loved about it most, despite utilizing some fresh basil from my herb garden, was having it for lunch the next day. Seriously, basil and mint are about the only thing I can grow without much effort (and it’s so dang hot here that it continues to fry so I have to watch it) so I’m constantly searching for ways to use both of them other than for garnish. The pesto and peas lighten things up and nearly eliminate your concern over eating pasta. Nearly.
Have a great weekend, y’all and remember to eat those peas!