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Pea & Pesto Pasta

This recipe celebrates delicious fresh peas that are best eaten during the springtime. I mix fresh peas into a delicious basil pesto and toss it with hearty pasta for a quick and easy meal and day of the week!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian, West Coast
Servings 4


  • Water for boiling
  • 2 cups green peas fresh or frozen, divided
  • 3 tablespoons + ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1- pound fusilli pasta or pasta shape of your choice
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 cups fresh basil leaves only
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese plus extra for garnish
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts or substitute with peeled and blanched almonds
  • ¼ cup olive oil


  • Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat.
  • Once boiling, add the peas to the pot and cook for 2 minutes, or until the peas are bright green. Once cooked, remove the peas from the water using a slotted spoon and transfer them into a bowl filled with ice water. This will stop the cooking and will keep the peas nice and bright green.
  • Return the pot of water to a boil, add 3 tablespoons of salt, and the pasta. Cook the pasta according to the package directions.
  • In the meantime, make the pesto. Add the garlic cloves, the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt, and pepper to a food processor. Pulse until the garlic has been minced into fine pieces.
  • Next, drain the chilled peas and set ½ cup of peas aside for later. Add the rest of the peas to the food processor along with the basil, lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, and pine nuts.
  • Turn on the food processor and add the olive oil in a slow and steady stream through the top spout. The pesto should become thick and creamy, however if it is too chunky or is not coming together, add 2-3 tablespoons of water to the pesto to thin it out into a smooth sauce. Taste the pesto and adjust it for seasoning if desired.
  • Next, drain the pasta then return it to the pot. Add the pesto to the pasta along with the reserved ½ cup of peas and mix until fully combined. Place the pasta onto a serving plate and top with additional Parmesan cheese. Serve warm and enjoy!


Leftover pesto can keep for three days in the refrigerator. You can use it again on other pasta, add it to eggs, or spread it on to some toast.
Keyword healthy pasta recipe, pea and pesto pasta, pesto recipe, sundried tomato pesto