This is hands down the recipe I’ve made the most in my kitchen. It has few ingredients, not a lot of preparation and is very simple to execute well. I have made this so many times; I could make it in my sleep. This simple recipe is consistently delicious. I’m never disappointed when I make this for lunch or dinner.
This is one of those recipes that is so quick to produce but tastes like you’ve been cooking all day. It makes me fall in love with my simple pesto pasta, every damn time! I cannot stress to you how much I love this recipe. This is a recipe on my blog you need to have in your repertoire and stat!
There is no real cooking involved in this dinner, seriously! You make the pesto in the food processor and boil the pasta & peas in the same pot, which makes for a super easy and low maintenance clean up! Remember that the peas don’t take as long as the pasta to cook, frozen peas only take 3 minutes, so pop them in when your pasta is almost al dente. Be really careful not to overcook your pasta. You want the noodle to be firm to the bite because the cooking process will continue over medium/low heat, when you toss the pasta with pesto.
- 3 cups basil(sweet not thai), packed
- ⅛ cup pine nuts
- ⅛ cup walnuts
- 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
- ¾ cup GOOD Olive Oil
- ½ cup parmigiano reggiano, freshly grated
- ¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
- salt to taste
- 454g package pasta of your choice
- 1 cup peas
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Combine all ingredients except for olive oil and parmigiano reggiano in the food processor and pulse.
- With the motor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the feed tube and process, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Transfer to a bowl and stir in parmigiano reggiano.
- When the water comes to a boil add pasta and stir with a wooden spoon.
- Add frozen peas when the pasta is a few minutes from being al dente. Read the cooking instructions on the back of the pasta because different kinds vary. Do you not overcook! The pasta is going to cook a little bit more when we toss it with pesto so it's better to have it slightly undercooked, if anything. Reserve a cup of pasta water. You can use this to thin out your sauce if need be.
- Drain the pasta & peas, rinse with cold water.
- Return the pot to stove over medium low heat. Add 1 tbsp of pesto and 1 tbsp of pasta water and let the bottom of the pot heat up.
- Add pasta and mix with hot pesto slowly strip in the remaining pesto, thinning out the sauce with pasta water 1 tbsp at a time
- Top with basil and a sprinkle of parmigiano reggiano
*You will need a total of 1 cup prepared pesto for this recipe.
*Be careful not to overcook the pasta!!! It should be slighty undercooked when you rinse the pasta. Remember that we will continue the cooking process over medium/low heat when we toss the pasta with pesto.
*Please read my 'Classic Pesto' post for tips and tricks on getting a perfect pesto and how to freeze it.