weeknight gourmet

Meatless Monday is Back: Pea & Parsley Pesto

Here is a delicious vegetarian dinner.  I promise — you won’t miss the meat!

I never had pesto made with peas before, but the parsley – pea – walnut combination was terrific.  A little sweetness from the peas, some nuttiness from the parmesan and walnuts, and some freshness from the parsley.

A couple of notes…To toast the walnuts, simply spread nuts on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.  I used whole wheat spaghetti to make the dish more healthful.

You’ll note that the recipe makes more pesto than you need for the pasta.  I think I am going to make some crostini with the pesto on Thursday night and serve with a white bean soup I plan to make.

Tim and I both gobbled this dish down!  I will definitely be making this again.

Pea & Parsley Pesto with Linguine
Everyday Food, March 2010

  • 2 cups frozen peas (from a 10-oz. bag)
  • 1 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 walnuts, toasted
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • coarse salt and pepper
  • 12 oz. linguine

Cook 1 cup peas according to package instructions.  In a food processor, combine cooked peas, parsley, walnuts, Parmesan, garlic, and 1 tablespoon water.  Pulse until a paste forms.  With machine running, slowly add oil, processing until blended; season with salt and pepper.

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions, adding 1 cup peas 30 seconds before end of cooking.

Reserve 1 cup pasta water; drain pasta and peas.  Return pasta and peas to pot and toss with 3/4 cup pesto (reserve remainder for another use), adding enough pasta water to create a sauce that coats the pasta.

Serve pasta with more Parmesan.

Serves 4.

 

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