Pesto Pasta with Peas

overhead shot of pasta pesto in a white dish.

3 from 1 review

Pasta with peas is an easy pasta recipe with homemade pesto, crunchy pine nuts, and green peas. Serve it as a side dish or main dish for an easy dinner.


  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, divided (see note)
  • 2 peeled garlic cloves
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, tightly packed
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound rotini pasta
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • Ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Place 1/4 of the pine nuts, garlic, lemon juice, basil, and Parmesan in a food processor
  2. Pulse until the mixture is finely chopped.
  3. With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil. Once the pesto is smooth season give it a taste and add salt if needed. 
  4. Boil the pasta following the package instructions. In the last minute of the cooking time, add the frozen peas. 
  5. Remove 1 cup of the pasta water before draining the pasta and peas.
  6. Whisk the pesto sauce and 1/4 cup of pasta water in a large bowl. Add the pasta and peas and toss to combine. If the pasta is dry, add another 1/4 cup of pasta water.
  7. Garnish the pasta with the rest of the pines and freshly ground black pepper.


If you have a couple extra minutes, toast the pine nuts. It brings out their natural oils and enhances the flavor. I toast mine in a dry skillet on the stove – it doesn’t take long; just warm them up, shake the pan a few times, and once they’re fragrant, they’re done. 

This pasta can be enjoyed warm, at room temperature, or chilled.

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. 


Keywords: pesto pasta recipe, pesto pea pasta