Basil Pesto Pasta with Peas

Home-made Basil Pesto Pasta with Peas is a great week-night recipe that tastes good and will keep your family full! A somewhat traditional pesto made with basil and roasted almonds instead of pine nuts. Makes great cold leftovers for lunch the next day.

For this Basil Pesto Pasta with Peas I decided to try a different type of pasta, Trader Joe’s Brown Rice and Quinoa Fusilli Pasta. This was my first time experimenting with a gluten-free brown rice pasta instead of one that you might traditionally in your pantry. I liked the result although the texture was slightly different. If you over cook this it will be mushy so the key was cooking the grain pasta a little less. In comparison to other brown rice pastas I have heard really good things about this Trader Joe’s version as compared to others. I liked it! 

Basil Pesto Pasta with Peas

The peas in this recipe not only add another layer of green color to this green dish but they also add a nice texture to the pasta. If the peas are cooked to an al dente then when mixed with the pesto and brown rice quinoa pasta it adds a really nice pop as you take a bite! Do not leave the peas out, they are so are high in fiber and good for you. 

This Basil Pesto Pasta with Peas was inspired by the amazing amount of basil that is growing in my families garden. I want to use up the herbs before they go away, it will happen before you know it! The recipe was also created out of need. I wanted to make have something for dinner that was filling and would last for a few days. You can serve this cold or warmed up, either is delicious.  

Basil Pesto Pasta with Peas

P.S. Pestos are so easy to make, if you have not tried please do!!! It’s a great sauce and can be used on so many dishes. I tend to add roasted almonds to my pestos instead of traditional pine nuts because I always have almonds on hand. Walnuts would be great too!


Recipe 

Basil Pesto Pasta with Peas

Basil Pesto Pasta with Peas serves 6

Ingredients:

For the Pesto:

  • about 2-3 cups of basil lightly packed 
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup roasted almonds 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1/2-3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • *optional 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice

Pasta:

  • 1 package Trader Joe’s Brown Rice Quinoa Fusilli Pasta
  • 16 oz bag of frozen Trader Joe’s Peas 

Instructions:

  1. Prepare the Pesto by pulsing together the basil, garlic, parmesan cheese, almonds, salt, pepper  in a food processor. Once broken down pour in 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil. Add additional if necessary. If it is too thick add more olive oil. Set aside. 
  2. Cook the pasta according to package, reserve 1/4 cup of pasta water, drain and set aside.
  3. Cook the peas according to package until al dente, do not over cook. I put about 2 cups of water in a medium pot and brought to a boil with salt. Added the peas and let cook about 30 seconds to 1 minute until cooked. 
  4. In a large bowl add half the pesto and the reserved pasta water. Add the cooked pasta, peas, and remaining pesto. Adjust seasoning if necessary. 
  5. Can be served hot, room temperature, or as as cold salad. 

Missed my last post? Get the recipe for Tomato Bell Pepper Salsa here! 

Tomato Bell Pepper Salsa

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