4.29.2009

Green Pea Pesto with Walnuts



I did not grow up eating pesto and I am not sure when I had my first taste, but pesto and I have had a love affair for years now. Prior to visiting Italy last August, my husband’s friend gave us directions to this tiny sandwich shop that was located close to the Duomo. Not knowing the name, the line out the door was indication enough that we had found the right place. We devoured our sandwiches in seconds, licking our fingers for every last drop. Not only was it the best pesto we had ever tasted, but it was the best meal we had in Italy hands down. And those Italian know how to cook. To say that I would go back to Florence just to visit this sandwich shop is by no means a stretch. And although they have got me beat when it comes to the standard basil pesto, I certainly love experimenting with pesto variations at home. There has been a sun-dried tomato version and one with collard greens and olives—just to name a few. So the thought of a green pea variety really piqued my interest. Unlike most pesto, it is completely vegan. And while you will not miss the cheese, the walnuts are essential. If you do not like walnuts or are allergic, try pine nuts or add a bit more salt.



Green Pea Pesto with Walnuts
adapted from Whole Foods . serves 4

1 lb penne (I used whole wheat)
1 1/2 c fresh green peas (or frozen)
3/4 c packed basil leaves
2 T lemon juice
1 T capers, drained
1/3 c olive oil
1/2 c chopped walnuts, toasted
salt and pepper, to taste

Bring a large stock pot of water to a boil and add penne. Cook 7-10 minutes, until al dente. Drain and transfer to a serving bowl.

In a food processor or blender, blend the peas, basil, lemon juice and capers. Add the olive oil in a slow stream, and blend until combined. Add to serving bowl with pasta and mix well. Add walnuts and season to taste with salt and pepper.

15 comments:

Marie said...

I am a complete pesto lover, home made it is just the best. However I haven't really experimented beyond the normal one, this sounds lovely though and perfect for summer pasta. Mmmm, thanks again!

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

My husband and I are eating the salt and pepper tofu right now (eating while I work!) and it's AMAZING! We're having it over wilted spinach with a side of asparagus. It's definitely going into the rotation!

I love your blog!

Baby Daniel and Us said...

Your blog is amazing! I love it.
Thanks for all the recipes and pictures.

alia.e said...

I am loving your blog. I've been watching it since i discovered it over at byw. i need some new inspiration recipes and these are just great.

Lilibeth said...

What a gorgeous blog you have. My husband is salivating because he is a pesto fiend. :)

fresh365 said...

Rachel- so glad you enjoyed!

domestikatedlife.com said...

Wow this looks delicious! What a pretty blog, I love your photos!

Heather said...

This looks great! I love the look of your blog!

Dana said...

I love pesto too but haven't experimented with other kinds. This is a great way to get some green veggies into my children.

Pretty Neat Designs said...

This looks like a perfect spring dinner!

Michelle @ Find Your Balance said...

Oh I love pesto! I love hiding leafy green veggies in basil pesto...maybe some spinach or chard. But peas? never thought of a pea pesto! Cool!

Juliana said...

I love pesto...this dish looks so tasty...yummie. The combination of flavors sounds amazing.

Jacqueline said...

Oh yummi! You have such a great cozy blog here! Im gonna have to try this sometime over the weekend! Glad i found you on our byw course! Hope you had a good weekend!

laurel said...

I'll be in Florence in June - where is this sandwich shop????

fresh365 said...

Hi Laurel- Here is the email I received from a friend before traveling to Florence. The one we ate at was the Oil Shoppe, but when I go back I will have to try both! Have a fabulous trip! “Start by standing in the Piazza of the Duomo with the cathedral in front, the tower and baptistery to the left and the dome to the right. Basically facing North. Head to the right following the church down (to the east) and go down the street that is straight in front. That street is Via Dell’Oriuolo. Go down the street and you will see and “Internet Train” on the left and just a little past that will be the “Oil Shoppe”. This place has hot and cold sandwiches and the guy that runs it is a chef. Don’t try to order more than one meat on your sandwich because he won’t let you do it. If you were to go past the Oil Shoppe you would come up on a street called Borgo Pinti on the left and a tunnel on the right with a restaurant called Eby’s on the corner. Go into the tunnel and on the left is “Antico Noe” which is a tiny little sandwich place with numbers that you can use to order and a guy working there named Luca.”