Mmmm, peas! Mmmm, pesto! Mmmm, pasta!
The Three P's came together quickly and deliciously in this summer-light pasta dish. I had been wanting to make pea pesto for awhile now, having seen several recipes for it floating around the blogosphere. I happened to have a half-bag of frozen peas and some pasta sitting around, so getting the rest of the ingredients was a cinch.
A lot of pea pestos are made with fresh mint, but I actually hate fresh mint (which is so sad, because I really, really want to like tabbouleh!), so I just went with the traditional basil and parsley combination. The flavors of the basil and peas worked well together; the only thing I might change next time is to cook the garlic in a little oil first - the raw garlic was a bit overpowering for my taste (and I do love my garlic).
My pesto came out very chunky, considering I don't have a food processor, and frankly don't have the patience to chop things super-finely by hand, but the chunkiness really allows you to taste each disparate flavor in the sauce. I have a feeling the pesto will only be better the longer it sits (in fact, I'm about to test this theory since I'm going to have some of the leftovers for my lunch). Only 30 more minutes until the generally-accepted lunch time of 12:00 pm! (I get hungry every single day at exactly 10:15 am. It's excruciating.)
SIMPLE PEA PESTO
whole wheat capellini or other pasta
1 1/2 c. frozen peas
1 bunch fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
big handful basil leaves, finely chopped
1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 c. pine nuts, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Boil the pasta in salted water in a large pot. Using a colander or handled strainer, set the frozen peas so they're resting in the pasta water (or alternately, just boil them separately or microwave them). When they're tender, mash them. Cook pasta until al dente, then drain.
Meanwhile, combine all the other ingredients (including the now-mashed peas) in a large mixing bowl and mix until well-combined. Place in the pot you cooked the pasta in, then pour the pasta on top of the pesto while still hot and stir to mix.
Serve with a few reserved peas and pine nuts scattered on top. Enjoy!
Thanks for reading! More soon...