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Easy To Make Pesto Pasta With Peas

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Pesto pasta with peas is a go-to quick and easy weeknight dinner that you can have ready in less than 20 minutes!

When you’re busy and working in the week, often it gets to tea time and you just can’t be bothered cooking (but still want proper food).

Pesto pasta is 100% my standby dinner. And adding in the peas, pine nuts and lots of Parmesan cheese is not only really convenient as they’re pretty much food stapes in our house, but it also ups the protein content.

Why You’ll LOVE This Recipe

Quick and easy – you can have this recipe ready to eat, on the table in pretty much the time it takes to cook the pasta.

Tasty – pasta pesto is one of those tasty little comfort foods, you can dress up or down, depending on what you have in or what you fancy eating.

Give it your own twist – this is a great pasta dish for adding in extras, if you’ve something tasty to use up like bacon bits, or walnuts, some veggies in the fridge, you can always add them in.

pesto pasta with peas scattered with parmesan cheese and toasted pine nuts served in a large skillet pan

Pesto Pasta With Peas Recipe

Serves – 4 

Prep Time – 5 minutes 

Cook Time – approx 15 minutes

Total Time – 20 minutes 

Our Most Popular Alternative – Pasta With Chickpeas And Pesto

Equipment Needed

  • Chopping board
  • Vegetable knife
  • Skillet pan
  • Saucepan
  • Mug
  • Small frying pan
  • Cooking spoon

Ingredients For Pesto Pasta With Peas 

You’ll only need a handful of ingredient to make this tasty, quick pasta recipe

ingredients for pesto pasta with peas on a white table - include paired pasta, bowl of frozen peas, bowl of pine nuts, bow of pesto, olive oil, chopped garlic, diced onion and grated parmesan cheese
  • Pasta – we use penne, but any short pasta shape like farfalle, or fusilli is great
  • Olive oil
  • Onion – diced finely
  • Garlic clove – finely chopped
  • Frozen peas
  • Parmesan cheese – finely grated 
  • Pine nuts – your can skip these or add a different kind of nut
  • Basil pesto – just use your favourite variety

For calories and full nutritional information see recipe card below

How To Make Pesto Pasta And Peas 

You’ll love how quick and easy this pasta recipe is for weeknight cooking

Step One – cook the pasta

  • Put the pasta on to cook as per the packet instructions. Usually in a large pot of water brought to the boil with a pinch of salt.
  • Once cooked, reserve a teacup full of pasta water, then drain the cooked pasta and put to one side ready to use.
  • Whilst the pasta cooks get on with the pesto pea sauce.

Step Two – make the pasta pesto sauce

  • Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet pan and fry the onions and garlic over a low-medium heat for 5 minutes or until softened.
  • Then tip in the frozen peas and stir fry with the onions for 6-8 minutes or until heated through properly throughout.

Step Three – toast the pine nuts

  • Then  quickly toast the pine nuts – do this by popping them into a dry frying pan (no oil) and cooking them over a high heat for just 20-30 seconds until the start to brown and smell nutty – remove from the pan and put to one side. Be sure to keep an eye on them as they can burn quickly.

Step Four – add the pesto to the pasta

  • Stir the basil pesto through the cooked pasta.

Step Five – mix the pesto pasta with peas together

  • Then tip the pasta into the pan with the onions and peas. If the pasta needs loosening a little add some of the reserved pasta cooking water.
  • Give everything a good toss and mix together to combine all the flavors.

Step Six – serve

To serve scatter with the toasted pine nuts and grated parmesan cheese, a little black pepper, then divide between the serving bowls and tuck in. If you’ve any fresh basil to hand, scatter some leaves over and add an extra drizzle of olive oil if you like.

pesto pasta with peas scattered with parmesan cheese and toasted pine nuts served in a large skillet pan

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Serving Suggestions

This is perfect just served as it is, but if you want add some side dishes opt for salads, garlic bread or steamed broccoli tossed with olive oil and lemon juice.

Storage & Reheating

Any leftover pasta can be cooled quickly (within 1 hour of making) and stored in an air tight container in the fridge at the appropriate temperature. Use the pasta within one day of making.

We do not recommend reheating this dish.

Pesto Pasta With Peas Recipe Frequently Asked Questions & CookingTips

Which pasta to serve with pesto?

This is totally personal preference, use any you like!

What food goes well with pesto pasta?

If you wanted to serve this as a side dish it goes great with Italian roast chicken or grilled salmon.

Can I add water to thin pesto?

Don’t add water directly to the pesto in this recipe. Once you’ve mixed the pasta and pesto together, if it is a little sticky or dry add reserved cooking water from the pasta into the pasta pesto to loosen.

Can you make pesto pasta ahead of time?

You can make this recipe up to a day in advance, chill and store it properly in the fridge at the correct temperature and eat it chilled straight from the fridge.

Can pesto pasta be served cold?

Yes you can chill this pasta pesto (within an hour of cooking and serve cold as a salad)

Can pesto pasta be frozen?

No, we don’t recommend freezing this dish

How do you fix dry pesto pasta?

Just add some reserved pasta cooking water to moisten the pasta pesto.

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pesto pasta with peas scattered with parmesan cheese and toasted pine nuts served in a large skillet pan

Pesto Pea Pasta

Yield: Serves 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

A quick and easy weeknight pasta recipe - packed with flavour and ready to eat FAST!

Ingredients

  • 350g penne pasta
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion - finely diced
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 80g Parmesan cheese - grated
  • 50g pine nuts
  • 3 tbsp basil pesto

Instructions

  1. Put the pasta on to cook as per the packet instructions. Once cooked, reserve a teacup full of pasta water, then drain the cooked pasta and put to one side ready to use. Whilst the pasta cooks get on with the pesto pea sauce.
  2. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet pan and fry the onions and garlic over a low-medium heat for 5 minutes or until softened.chopped onions being fried in olive oil in a large skillet style pan
  3. Then tip in the frozen peas and stir fry with the onions for 6-8 minutes or until heated through properly throughout. peas and onions cooking in a skillet pan cooked peas and onions in a skillet pan
  4. Then quickly toast the pine nuts - do this by popping them into a dry frying pan (no oil) and cooking them over a high heat for just 20-30 seconds until the start to brown and smell nutty - remove from the pan and put to one side. pan of toasted pine nuts, bowl of frozen peas
  5. Toss the basil pesto through the cooked pasta, then tip the pasta into the pan withe the onions and peas. If the pasta needs loosening a little add some of the reserved pasta cooking water.
  6. Mix everything toegether, then scatter with the toasted pine nuts and grated parmesan cheese and serve straight away.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 440Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 453mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 4gSugar: 4gProtein: 16g

Nutritional content will vary depending on the exact ingredients you use and how careful you are with measuring - this nutritional information is given as a general guide only and may not be accurate - you should always calculate your own nutritional information especially if you have specific dietary requirements.

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