Monday, April 20, 2009

Spotting Dinner - Pasta with English Pea Pesto

I saw an episode of Giada at Home the other day where she made pesto using spinach and arugula instead of basil... When I was checking out TasteSpotting and came across dianalynn's posting of pasta with pesto made from peas, I was inspired. What a great take on pesto, especially with fresh peas becoming available.

Photo from southernfood

Pasta with English Pea Pesto

via southernfood


  • 1 pound spaghetti or linguine
  • 8 ounces diced ham
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil or butter
  • 1 cup frozen petite green peas, thawed or lightly cooked
  • 3/4 cup packed torn basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup fresh shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, optional
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Cook spaghetti or linguine following package directions. Drain and rinse with hot water.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet, brown the ham in a few teaspoons of olive oil or butter.

Meanwhile, for pesto, combine in a food processor the peas, basil, Parmesan cheese, garlic, and walnuts, if using. Run the food processor, adding olive oil a little at a time. Taste and add salt and pepper, as needed.

Toss the ham and pesto with the hot pasta. Serve with more Parmesan cheese.
Serves 6.

To really "bulk" out the pasta, I'd serve this with a simple grilled chicken breast (or grilled chicken tenders). I've always prefered chicken tenders to a whole chicken breast.

Here's to fresh produce and full bellies.
- Cait

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