Pasta with Pesto and Spring Peas
with strawberry-arugula salad
Homemade pesto is easy, quick, and oh so tasty, and it coats our pasta and peas with lots of summery flavor. Feel free to experiment with the taste of your pesto by adding less or more of any of the ingredients. Enjoy this pasta with one of our favorite summer salad combos - peppery arugula + sweet strawberries and fennel + tart balsamic make for a dynamic and delicious salad combination.
- Pine nuts - 1/2 cup
- Basil, loosely packed - 4 cups
- Garlic - 2 cloves, peeled
- Parmesan - 2 Tbsp ((Plus more for serving if desired))
- Salt - 1/2 tsp
- Olive oil - 1/2 cup
- Lemon - 1, juice of
- Shells - 3/4 lb ((Try a fresh pasta for a fun change))
- Frozen peas - 1 cup
- Fennel - 1 small bulb, thinly sliced
- Strawberries - 1/2 pint, sliced
- Balsamic vinegar - 1 1/2 Tbsp
- Dijon mustard - 1 tsp
- Olive oil - 3 Tbsp
- Arugula - 6 oz
- Pecans - 1/4 cup
- 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 (reserve a few for garnish), garlic, parmesan, and salt in a food processor. Drizzle in olive oil until you get a sauce-like consistency. Squeeze in juice of 1/2 a lemon and season to taste with salt & pepper.
- Fennel / Strawberries - Prep as directed
- Bring a saucepan of water to boil. Salt heavily (that water should taste like the ocean!) and add pasta. Cook until al dente, tender but not soggy. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup (118 ml) of the salted pasta water.
- 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 another squeeze of lemon juice. Garnish with parmesan cheese and pine nuts.
- If you have leftover pesto, freeze or use it as a sandwich spread or omelet filling later in the week.
- Whisk together balsamic, mustard, and oil. Season to taste with salt & pepper.
- Toss with fennel, strawberries, arugula, and pecans.
I had a ton of basil in my garden and needed to clear it out. This recipe will be my go-to for pesto in the future. So good! I added a bit of chicken to the pasta. The salad was great. I didn't have fennel on hand, so I used celery.0 Helpful
Great balance of flavor! Tip: just buy the pesto to make this even faster!0 Helpful
Loved this.0 Helpful
Never thought to put fennel in a salad. Really liked it.0 Helpful
This entire meal was delicious - and so pretty! Like summer on a plate. I also candied the pecans for an extra zing in the salad, which was very tasty.0 Helpful
Awesome meal. Served it to guests and they really enjoyed the salad in particular.0 Helpful