Pesto Pasta with Peas
and strawberry fennel salad
When spring and summer come around, we can't help but make big batches of pesto to spoon on top of everything. Of course, pasta is always our standby, and our paleo members will enjoy it with zucchini "noodles." Paired with a strawberry fennel arugula salad, we'll all be ready for the warm weather!
- Pine nuts - 1/4 cup ((Sub walnuts if you're on a budget))
- Basil - 4 cups, loosely packed ((You can also mix up the herbs and use parsley or cilantro))
- Garlic - 1 clove, peeled
- Parmesan - 2 oz, grated
- Olive oil - 1/4 to 1/2 cup
- Shells - 1/2 lb
- Peas - 2 cups
- Lemon - 1, juice of
- Fennel bulb, small - 1, sliced
- Strawberries - 1/2 pint, sliced
- Balsamic vinegar - 1 1/2 Tbsp
- Dijon mustard - 1 tsp
- Maple syrup - 1 tsp
- Olive oil - 2 Tbsp
- Arugula - 6 oz ((Or sub your favorite salad green))
- Pine nuts (optional step) - Toast on a frying pan over medium-high heat until golden brown. It's also completely fine to skip this step.
- Make pesto - Pulse basil leaves, pine nuts (you can reserve a few for garnish if you want), garlic, and parmesan in a food processor. Drizzle in olive oil until you get a sauce-like consistency. Season to taste with salt & pepper.
- Fennel / Strawberries - Prep as directed.
- Bring a saucepan of water to boil. Salt generously and add pasta. Cook until al dente, tender but not soggy. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup (118 ml) of the salted pasta water (for 4 servings - adjust accordingly if making more or less).
- Return saucepan to medium heat. Add in peas and cook until warmed, ~2 minutes. Add in pasta with reserved pasta water. Toss with desired amount of pesto and a squeeze of lemon juice. Garnish with more parmesan cheese and pine nuts if desired.
- Whisk together balsamic, mustard, maple syrup, and olive oil. Season to taste with salt & pepper. Toss with fennel, strawberries, and arugula. Enjoy salad with pasta.
Salad was the best part!!!0 Helpful
That was a GREAT salad. Didn't think I'd like the fennel, but it went very well with the arugula and strawberries. We did a half basil/half cilantro pesto to use up our leftover cilantro -- I thought it was good but my husband did not care for the cilantro. All basil next time! Omitted the peas as we're not a big fan.0 Helpful
I've always been scared to make pesto, and now that I made this dish I am not sure why - very simple!!! Great dish, had friends over for dinner and everyone loved it. I want to make a big batch of pesto and freeze it for later.0 Helpful
Loved the side salad, strawberry and fennel worked really nicely together. The pasta is simple but tasty, though I did use store bought pesto.0 Helpful
Loved this. The husband thought it was a little too lemon-y but I thought it was absolute perfection. The salad was delish too.0 Helpful
The pesto was delicious! We used whole-wheat pasta and added some extra veggies we had lying around.0 Helpful