Pasta, Pesto and Peas

  • Preparation Time20 mins
  • Cooking Time12 mins
  • Serves12
  • DifficultyEasy
335g fusilli pasta
335g bow tie pasta
60ml good olive oil
320ml pesto (readymade, or see recipe below)
1 (280g) package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
315g good mayonnaise
50g grated Parmesan
225g frozen peas, defrosted
65g pine nuts
3/4 tsp pepper
3/4 tsp salt

For the pesto

25g pine nuts
30g walnuts
9 cloves garlic, chopped
4 bunches fresh basil leaves
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
320ml good olive oil
1) Cook the fusilli and bow ties separately in a large pan of boiling salted water for 10 to 12 minutes until each pasta is al dente. Drain and toss into a bowl with the olive oil. Cool to room temperature.

2) Meanwhile, to make the pesto place the walnuts, pine nuts and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process for 15 seconds. Add the basil leaves, salt and pepper.

3) With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until the pesto is thoroughly pureed. Add the parmesan and puree for a minute.

4) Place the spinach and lemon juice into the bowl of the food processor and puree with the pesto. Add the mayonnaise and puree.

5) Add the pesto mixture to the cooled pasta and then add the Parmesan, peas, pine nuts, salt and pepper. Mix well, season to taste, and serve at room temperature.

Cook's Notes: Air is the enemy of pesto. Use right away or store the pesto in the refrigerator or freezer with a thin film of olive oil on top. For freezing, pack it in containers with a film of oil or plastic wrap directly on top with the air pressed out.

To clean the basil, remove the leaves, swirl them in a bowl of water, and then spin them very dry in a salad spinner. Store them in a closed plastic bag with a slightly damp paper towel. As long as the leaves are dry they will stay green for several days.

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