I’m a sucker for a big bowl of pasta pesto, but it’s been so long since I’ve had any that I was working up a serious appetite for it. I’m also a HUGE fan of petit pois peas, they’re so tiny and sweet and they make a great snack with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt. Combine the two, pesto and peas, with some pasta and you’ve got yourself a deliciously fresh and sweat plate of food that takes only a couple of minutes to prepare. Even better if you add in some toasted pistachios. A perfect dish for summer.
I shared this meal with my grandmother who’s a massive fan of my food. She’s 89 years of age and although she’s a country woman who grew up with a meat and two veg diet she’s a big fan of vegan food. A lot of the props that I use in my photos have been given to me by my grandmother. The fork and spoon in the featured image are the last few remaining from a cutlery set given to her as a wedding present. She had three of each left and gave me two of each, she’s been a huge influence on my life, especially inside the kitchen. This one’s for my Nan.
What you’ll need: (serves 4-6 for pesto and 2 for pasta)
- 1 cup of frozen petit pois peas (garden peas will do also)
- Extra peas for serving
- 1/2 cup of pistachio nuts
- 1 handful of fresh basil leaves
- 7-8 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic
- some salt for seasoning
- 300g linguine
- juice of half a lemon
- sundried tomatoes, optional
- Bring a kettle of water to the boil. Place nuts in a pan over a medium heat and toast for a couple of minutes, tossing every 30 seconds or so. Set to the side to cool. When the water has boiled pour over the peas to defrost. If using sundried tomatoes you can cover them with hot water too to soften them a little.
- Add the rest of the water to a large pan, add salt and pasta and cook pasta until a little less cooked than al dente. Strain the pasta keeping one cup of the cooking water to the side. This should be done every time you make a dish like this, as the pasta will continue to cook in the pesto and the cooking water is more starchy, giving more substance to the dish.
- Strain the peas and add to a food processor, keeping enough aside for serving. Add the basil, cooked nuts, chopped garlic clove, and a pinch of salt. Blend on medium power for a more corse pesto. Slowly add the oil to the mix until you’re happy with the consistency.
- Add a couple of tablespoons of the pesto to a large pan, followed by the pasta. Add a little of the cooking water and mix well. Continue to cook the pasta until it is ready; it should still be al dente, if your pasta is soft then it’s overcooked.
- Top with the extra peas and finish with a drizzle of fresh lemon juice.
Share and enjoy!