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+ servings
Close up image of penne with pesto and peas.
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5 from 6 votes

Fresh Pesto Pasta with Peas

This recipe for basil pesto pasta with peas is simplicity at its finest. Make your own pesto or use store-bought - either way, this is quick, delicious, and ready in just 15 minutes!


  • 1/4 cup walnuts or walnut pieces
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 6 cloves garlic peeled
  • zest of half a lemon
  • 4 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb. pasta
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh shelled peas


  • Add walnuts, pine nuts, garlic, and lemon zest to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse for 20-30 seconds to finely chop. Add basil, Parmesan, salt, and pepper. With the processor running, add olive oil, and process until thoroughly pureed, about 60 seconds. Set aside.
  • Boil a large pot of water for the pasta, and add a generous pinch of salt. When boiling, add pasta and cook according to package directions to al dente. When one minute remains in the cooking time, add peas to the boiling water. Drain pasta and peas together.
  • Allow pasta to cool for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to a large bowl and stir in about half of the pesto. Add more pesto to taste, or a drizzle of extra olive oil, if desired. Serve warm or cold, with additional basil, pine nuts, or lemon zest for garnish.


To make this even faster, use 1 cup of good-quality store-bought basil pesto. My favorite brand is DeLallo. Just begin with step 2 above.
  2. You can also make the pesto in the blender, and sub any combination of nuts you prefer. Using all walnuts is also delicious and they are usually more affordable per ounce than pine nuts.
  3. We find this recipe pretty filling, and it serves 8-10 as a side. You may want to plan on fewer servings, 4-6, if preparing as a main. 

Nutrition Estimate

Calories: 349kcal, Carbohydrates: 40g, Protein: 14g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 6mg, Sodium: 339mg, Potassium: 472mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 5170IU, Vitamin C: 23mg, Calcium: 289mg, Iron: 4.3mg
Did you make this recipe?Leave a review below, then snap a quick picture and tag @nourishandfete on Instagram so I can see it!