There's always room for a fresh take on pesto pasta.

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Credit: Jennifer Causey

Recipe Summary

hands-on:
15 mins
total:
30 mins
Servings:
4
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A good pesto sauce does a few things well. First, it packs in a generous amount of herbs (here, mint and parsley offer a novel twist on the classic basil). Next, the herbs are matched by salty cheese, in this case, nutty pecorino Romano, which is similar to Parmesan but saltier and slightly sharper. Finally, there should be something nutty—pine nuts are standard—and enough garlic to bring welcome punch. But this recipe offers a totally new twist: slightly sweet peas that transform the sauce into a silky, balanced revelation. You'll stir it together with fusilli, whose corkscrew curls snag ample sauce, to make a delightful, crowd-pleasing dish.

Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Cook pasta in a large pot of generously salted water according to package directions for al dente. Reserve 1 cup cooking water. Drain pasta; return it to pot.

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  • Meanwhile, place parsley, mint, cheese, garlic, 1½ cups peas, and ¼ cup pine nuts in a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. With processor running, drizzle in oil; process until pesto is smooth, about 1 minute.

  • Add pesto, salt, pepper, ½ cup reserved cooking water, and remaining ½ cup peas to pasta in pot. Cook over medium, stirring constantly, until pasta is fully coated and warmed through, about 2 minutes. Add more reserved cooking water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to loosen sauce to desired consistency. Serve topped with remaining ¼ cup pine nuts and cheese.

Nutrition Facts

649 calories; fat 31g; cholesterol 15mg; sodium 600mg; carbohydrates 76g; dietary fiber 7g; protein 21g; sugars 8g; saturated fat 7g.
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