Spring Pasta with Basil Pesto, Peas and Pine Nuts

One of the difficulties with blogging food recipes from New Zealand is that lots and lots of my lovely bloggie followers are based in the northern hemisphere – so while I’m waxing lyrical about salads and ice cream you’re in the grip of winter, and just when my thoughts turn to hearty indulgent puddings and rich braises, you’re breaking out the shorts and thinking detox. It’s a bit tricky! So today, as Henry flies in this morning, I thought I would take the advantage of doing a quick post on a super-simple pasta dish which is perfect for the start of spring, but also makes a great autumn dish. Henry has always loved pesto (even pesto peas as a side-dish) so I thought I would whip this up for his homecoming lunch, and share it with you. Al dente pasta smothered in pungent basil pesto with sweet baby peas, a grating of Parmesan and a sprinkling of toasted pine nuts. Hope he likes it! 🙂 (Poor old Rich is in week two of tonsillitis mode following his amazing performance in the school play The Laramie Project  (incredible!!!) but now all I can tempt him with is lemon honey drinks and ice blocks – the prospect of a tonsilectomy aged 16 does not sound much fun…)

1 cup frozen peas
200g spaghetti, tagliatelle or pasta of your choice
1 1/4 cups basil pesto
1cup freshly grated Parmesan
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup basil leaves
Bring a small pot of water to the boil. Drop in the peas, cook for just 2-3 minutes then drain under cold running water. Bring a separate large pot of salted water to the boil and cook pasta according to packet instructions until just al dente. Drain and return to the pot. Stir through pesto, peas and Parmesan, reserving a little of the Parmesan. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Divide between serving bowls, top with extra Parmesan, pine nuts and basil leaves. If your pesto is thick, or just ‘cos you like it, feel free to drizzle with a tiny bit of extra virgin olive oil. (PS. Henry did like it!) Serves 4 for lunch.


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