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Pasta Shells with Pesto and Peas
Pesto Pasta with Peas
Cook Smarts
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(51 rated)

Make a tasty and super easy pesto pasta for Spring. For a slightly thicker sauce you can puree a small amount of peas with the pesto.


    • 1/4 cup pine nuts
    • 4 cups basil, loosely packed
    • 1 clove garlic, peeled
    • 2 ounces Parmesan
    • 1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil
    • 10 ounces pasta shells
    • 2 cups peas
    • 1 lemon, juiced


1. Pine nuts (optional step): Toast on a frying pan over medium heat until golden brown (4 to 5 minutes). It's also completely fine to skip this step.

2. Make pesto: Pulse basil leaves, pine nuts (reserve a few for garnish), garlic, Parmesan and salt in a food processor. Drizzle in olive oil until you get a sauce-like consistency. Squeeze in juice of 1/2 a lemon and season to taste with salt and pepper.

To cook:1. Bring a saucepan of water to boil. Salt heavily (that water should taste like the ocean!) and add pasta. Cook until al dente, tender but not soggy. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the salted pasta water.

2. Return saucepan to medium heat. Add in peas and cook until warmed, about 2 minutes. Add in pasta with reserved pasta water. Toss with desired amount of pesto and another squeeze of lemon juice. Top with Parmesan cheese and reserved pine nuts.