Spring is finally here! All the trees are in bloom, the daffodils on the corner are going crazy, the sun is out when I leave for work in the morning, and the behemoth 1940’s heater in the middle of our apartment is finally no longer necessary (much to Calypso’s dismay). I can even open the windows without freezing out everyone in the house! Granted, they don’t stay open long but at least we get a little fresh air after the shut in of winter.
Every year with the start of this season, whether or it’s conscious or not, I start to veer towards simpler, lighter meals that are quicker to make and somewhat easier on the stomach. My go to? Definitely pasta…All. The pasta. It’s easy, delicious, and can be dressed up in so many different ways, including a quick veggie sauté and a touch of pesto, which brings me to…Simple Spring Pea Pesto Pasta!
This dish is a great transition from winter to spring. A bit more hearty than 15 Minute Summertime Linguine but still light enough to start moving away from those heavy winter foods I know I’ve been enjoying 😳. It also takes advantage of the produce that’s starting to abound! I found some fresh, cheery looking heirloom cherry tomatoes that, up until now, have been in quite a sad state. And it’s just not spring without those bright green peas to top it all off. Oh and obviously goat cheese 🧀🧀. Because obviously.
Also, this Simple Spring Pea Pesto Pasta takes literally 15 minutes to make. While your favorite tubular pasta is boiling away, saute up some mushrooms, add some thawed peas, and then toss the rest all together! Can’t get any easier than that 🙌🏻. To give this dish a little more substance, I did add a sprinkling of freshly toasted pine nuts to enhance their flavor in the pesto. They smell like heaven in the oven but be careful not to burn them! It only takes a couple minutes for them to get nice and golden brown.
PS. If you’re looking for a heartier meal, add a little more substance to this Simple Spring Pea Pesto Pasta with chicken, some Italian sausage, or even shrimp! If you’re feeling extra fancy, a few slices of prosciutto on top of this dish could up your dinner party game 😎. Easy peezy recipe coming right up…
- 1 lb tubular pasta (I used funghetto)
- ½ cup pine nuts
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 8 ounces white mushrooms, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons red wine or red wine vinegar
- 1½ cups frozen petite peas, thawed
- 4 ounces homemade or store-bought pesto
- 1 cup fresh cherry tomatoes, sliced
- 1 bunch basil, chiffonade
- 4 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Toast the pine nuts: Bake at 350˚F on a baking sheet for 3-5 minutes until golden. Remove from heat and cool on a wire rack.
- Cook pasta to al dente according to box instructions. Drain and set aside.
- While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add mushrooms and cook 7-8 minutes, until softened and juices are released. Add wine, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan.
- Add garlic, peas and half the pesto and cook 1 minute, until warmed through. Remove skillet from heat.
- Stir in cooked pasta and the rest of the pesto, until coated. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Top pasta with cherry tomatoes, basil, pine nuts and goat cheese. Serve warm.
If you make this recipe, please be sure to take a photo and tag it with #aberdeenskitchen. I can't wait to see what you cook up!