Pea & Pesto Pasta
This pea and pesto pasta is fresh and fragrant, and ready in 30 minutes or less for a quick and easy weeknight meal.
Buckwheat noodles are currently my noodle of choice; energizing and nutritious, in Asian cuisine, buckwheat noodles are a very popular choice for hot broths or chilled salads, also referred to as soba noodles. Buckwheat itself is a gluten-free grain (that is, in fact, a seed) and a member of the rhubarb family. High in plant-based protein and rich in flavonoids, manganese and magnesium, buckwheat is also known to help lower cholesterol, balance blood sugar, prevent cardiovascular disease and prevent gallstones. With a mild nutty flavour, buckwheat noodles are a simple swap for any pasta dish and a perfect complement to this pesto pasta.
You can try this simple homemade pesto recipe, or buy a store-bought jar, and whip up this simple dinner in next to no time. I’ve kept this Pesto & Pea Pasta fully vegetarian, but you could also cook a little chicken or shrimp in the pesto for added protein.
This pesto pasta recipe is vegetarian but you could easily add some chicken or shrimp if you wanted to increase the protein.
- 250g pack buckwheat (soba) noodles
- 2–3 teaspoon fresh pesto
- 1 cup green peas, fresh or frozen
- 2 cups spinach, well packed
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Lemon, zested (optional)
- Sea Salt
- Fresh Pepper
- 2 cups, washed, loosely packed stemmed fresh herbs: basil, cilantro, parsley, mint
- 1/2 cup shelled pine nuts or walnuts
- 1–2 cloves fresh garlic
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup good tasting extra virgin olive oil, as needed
- Sea salt, to taste
- In a large pot of boiling water, cook buckwheat noodles according to package directions. Al dante is best.
- While the pasta is cooking, prepare the other ingredients.
- If you are making the pesto from scratch, add the herbs, nuts and garlic to a food processor and blend until combined. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil in small batches to allow it to emulsify until desired texture is reached. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- In a pan on a very low heat, gently sauté the spinach (or greens of your choice) in olive oil with minced garlic for 3-5 minutes until bright green.
- If using frozen peas, allow them to thaw or warm them in some boiling water.
- Once the noodles are done cooking, strain the water off. Toss the noodles into a strainer and place it over a pot, this way you are able to keep some of the starchy water to add to the dish if the noodles stick.
- Add the strained noodles to the pan of sautéd spinach, along with pesto and warm peas. Using tongs toss the noodles with the pesto until everything is well combined.
- For extra flavour, you can zest from fresh lemon on top of the noodles and season with sea salt and fresh pepper as desired.
- Serve warm and enjoy!