Ever since I discovered pesto at an Italian restaurant, I have fallen in love with it. It’s so rich, creamy, and flavor-packed. I tried to recreate the dish myself but the sauce at the supermarket was always too oily and disappointing. Then I started researching recipes and making different variants of the pesto sauce.
Traditionally pesto sauce involves pine nuts and basil, however, these ingredients are often costly and inaccessible to many countries. Therefore, in my recipe, I replace pine nuts with cashews and use peas on top of the basil. This gives the pesto its creaminess and bright green colors, not to mention many good nutrients and protein.
I am very proud of this Pesto Pasta recipe and have been making it for the past year (never going back to the pre-made sauce anymore). It’s so easy to make and I always try to incorporate veggies into the dish to make it even healthier and wholesome. I love the combination of pesto with cherry tomatoes and arugula the most, however, I have tried it with bell peppers and sundried tomatoes and it tastes super yummy as well. So feel free to add the veggies you have in the fridge.
Let’s get started with the recipe!
Easy Peasy Pasta Pesto – 20-minute Meal
To make the Pasta
- 200 gram pasta
- boiling water
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 shallot
- 250 gram cherry tomatoes
To make the Pesto
- 70 gram cashews
- 200 gram frozen green peas
- 2 cloves garlic
- 15 gram basil
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lemon / lime
- salt and pepper to taste
- 10 gram cashews
- 30 gram arugula
- Soak the cashews in boiling water for 10 minutes to soften. If you have a high speed blender you can omit this step.
- Soak the frozen peas in boiling water.
- Cook the pasta in salted boiling water according to package instruction.
- Meanwhile, chop the shallots and garlic into thin slices. Halve the cherry tomatoes.
- In a blender or a food processor, combine the soaked cashews, peas, garlic, basil, olive oil, lemon/lime, salt and pepper. Blend until you are left with a bright green and smooth pesto sauce.
- On a pan on medium heat, add 1 tbsp oil and the shallots. Stir frequently until fragrant.
- Add the chopped cherry tomatoes in the pan and stir until well combined.
- Turn off the heat. Add the pasta and pesto sauce to the pan. Mix together until well combined.
- Serve the pasta pesto on a plate with the arugula and garnish with some cashews.