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Pasta With Pea Pesto

April 15, 2013
Plain English Version

Super simple, and doable even without a food processor, this pesto comes together with ingredients you’re likely to have on-hand.

Serves 4

 2 cups fresh or frozen peas

1 small garlic clove, minced (or if using hand mixer 1 tablespoon garlic powder)

2 tablespoons unsalted nuts (original recipe calls for pine nuts, I used cashews) 

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for pasta water

One package dried linguine, spaghetti, or fettuccine (I used linguine)

Garnish (optional): thinly slivered basil or mint leaves

1. Fill large pot half full of water, salt well, and bring to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Reserve about two cups of pasta water to use later with pesto. Drain pasta, set aside. Keep your pasta pot on the stove for later.

2. While pasta cooks, cook peas either on stovetop or in microwave for about 2 to 3 minutes, until tender. Drain, and let cool slightly. If using food processor set aside 1/2 cup peas. 

3. Whirl 1-1/2 cups peas in food processor or blender with garlic cloves, nuts, 1/3 cup Parmesan, and pinch of salt. Drizzle in olive oil and blend until smooth. (If using hander mixer beat all the peas, garlic powder, and pinch of salt on high speed, adding olive oil a bit at a time until mostly smooth, with only a few peas left whole. This will take about 5 minutes. Stir in Parmesan and nuts.)

4. With heat on medium-low, return pesto and reserved peas to pasta pot, add pasta, and mix to combine. Add splashes of pasta water as needed until pesto is smooth and coats all noodles. Add salt, black pepper, basil, mint, and extra Parmesan to taste.

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

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