Are you ready to have your mind blown….with peas?
Go get peas right now. Wait…come back. Go get them after I finish telling you about the magic of pea pesto. Not a fan of peas? I’m begging you to try them again. This is not the mushy pea goosh of your childhood. This is a dish that captures the fresh flavors of spring…peas, mint, lemon…and puts them together in a creamy pesto. I served my magic pesto on a bed of healthy spaghetti squash “noodles.”
I heart all things pesto…basil pesto, kale pesto, broccoli pesto, pesto pesto. What’s not to love about throwing a bunch of items in a blender, whirling it around, and getting something that will jazz up just about anything. But my heart has been stolen by pea pesto. Plus it’s uber green and cute.
I whipped this dish up rather quickly this past week. It would be perfect for a busy weeknight meal. You can use both fresh or frozen peas for the pesto. Reserve about 1/2 cup of peas for serving with the squash “noodles”. Make the pesto while the spaghetti squash is cooking in the microwave. I think this dish would be amazing with seared scallops or shrimp.
OK, so I now relinquish you to go get peas. Eat up! Spring is here.
Spring Pea Pesto with Spaghetti Squash
*Note – I used cashews to make the pesto a bit creamier. However, walnuts, almonds, or pine nuts would also work in this pesto.
- 1 medium-sized spaghetti squash
- 1 1/2 cups of fresh or thawed frozen shelled peas
- 1/3 cup cashews*
- 1/4 cup packed fresh mint
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- SQUASH NOODLES – Place whole spaghetti squash in microwave for 2 minutes. Remove from microwave and cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds. In a large microwave-safe glass container, place the two halves cut side down. Pour 1-4/ to 1/2 cup of water into the base of the container (about 1/4 inch deep). Microwave on high for a total of 10 to 12 minutes (depending on the size of your squash). Check on the squash halfway through the cook time. When the squash is soft to the touch, it is done. It will be extremely hot, so allow it to rest for about 10 minutes. Make your pesto during this time. Once it is cooled down, scrape out the insides with a fork to get your squash “noodles.” Set your “noodles” aside.
- PESTO – Set aside 1/2 cup of peas for later use. For the pea pesto, place 1 cup of peas, cashews, mint, lemon juice, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Process for 2 to 3 minutes until mixture is well blended, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. With machine running, drizzle in the olive oil. The pesto can be made ahead of time and frozen or kept in the refrigerator for up to a week.
- ASSEMBLY – To construct the “pasta” dish, add the pesto to the cooked spaghetti squash noodles. Stir in the reserved 1/2 cup of peas. Salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with slivers of mint. This would also be great with shrimp or seared scallops!