I’m usually a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to pesto. To be honest, I won’t even order it at a restaurant because I usually don’t like the way they make it! I want my Nana’s famous pesto – no cream or fancy additions here. But a few weeks ago, I looked in my freezer and saw that I had 3 different bags of peas open… so I started brainstorming what I could do with them to use them up. An easy pea pesto? Ah ha!
Turns out the texture of peas works really well in a sauce like this. It’s definitely thicker than a typical pesto, but I love that it really coats the noodles! The peas also make it pretty sweet, so I decided to offset that by adding red pepper flakes. I’m a big fan of spicy/sweet combos, and this one doesn’t dissapoint!
Now, when it comes to pesto, you really need a food processor. You could use a blender instead, but you might end up with a slightly different consistency. I know storage in city kitchens is tight, but investing in this simple gadget is totally worth it.
I also knew I wanted to add something else to this dish. And I’ll admit – I was hoping for a pop of color for the photos… GUILTY! But I must say, these roasted grape tomatoes really filled the void all around. They’re the perfect little punch of flavor to compliment the noodles… and they look pretty, too ?
Mix in the tomatoes and it’s time to serve!
So pretty, right?!
I also used Banza chickpea noodles to make this recipe a little bit healthier. If you’ve never tried their pasta, I highly recommend it. It’s got double the protein, four times the fiber, and nearly half the net carbs of regular pasta. As a pasta lover, it’s been really awesome to continue to make my Italian comfort food like this – without the guilt of eating a whole bowl of carbs! And while it’s definitely not the same as eating regular fresh white flour pasta… it’s still pretty darn good! Chickpea flour for the WIN!
Have you ever made Pea Pesto?
And have any of you tried Banza noodles? What did you think of it?
- 1.5 cups frozen peas (thawed)
- 1 cup fresh basil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 tbsp pine nuts
- 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- 1 package grape/cherry tomatoes
- 1 box Banza Shells
- Prepare your roasted tomatoes, based on this recipe.
- Start boiling water, and cook your pasta according to the instructions on the package.
- Add thawed peas, basil, garlic, and pine nuts to the food processor.
- Start chopping this mixture to give it a head start. Then add salt, pepper, olive oil, red pepper flakes, and parmesan cheese. Finish chopping with all ingredients. If the mixture is too thick, add more olive oil.
- Add your pesto to your warm pasta noodles. Stir to coat.
- Stir in the roasted tomatoes and enjoy!
- This recipe makes more pesto than you need, so just keep the rest in an airtight container in your fridge (makes a great dip!) or freeze it for your next batch.
Want to remember how to make this Easy Pea Pesto? Pin the image below for later!
PS. You might also like my Easy Roasted Grape Tomatoes, Mushroom Pasta, and Spiralized Parsnips with Broccolini and Sausage.