This video and post first appeared on EatingbyElaine.com in April 2016. It was updated March 2019 with linguine noodles and broccoli rabe (optional).
Have you ever wanted to just eat a sauce straight up without the pasta? This is that sauce. I would have been just as content grabbing a spoon and going to town but I figured adding pasta would be more socially appropriate.
Seriously though, this is the most flavorful, yummy, sweet, fresh, garlicky pesto sauce ever. Just five ingredients (plus salt and pepper) make this so easy peasy (pun intended). It is so green and perfect for spring. I love sweet peas which lend a subtle sweetness that balance out the garlic flavor well. This pesto sauce features parsley which is the epitome of spring if you ask me.
Today, I updated this post with new photos that include the addition of broccoli rabe. Broccoli rabe is the spicy cousin to broccoli. It has a unique nutty, peppery bold flavor and is the perfect spring green to add to pasta dishes (or soups or sandwiches). To add the broccoli rabe I blanched it in boiling water with salt for 3-5 minutes under tender and then plunged the broccoli rabe into ice water. I drained and added the broccoli rabe to a saute pan with olive oil, salt and pepper for a couple of minutes. Then, I added the pasta and pesto and combined everything until warm and evenly coated.
This is the easiest recipe to pull together. It takes less than 15 minutes total!
This dish is 100% gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free, soy-free and nut-free. Plus, it doesn't contain any butter or added sugar. With this dish you are getting whole grains, vegetables and plant-based protein from the pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and peas in the pesto sauce. You could even add fresh spinach and cook that down into the pasta for a veggie boost. This is a family favorite, quick to whip together and full of all the green things you need this spring!
If you give this dish a try, let me know by leaving a comment and rating it! And don’t forget to take a picture and tag it @eatingbyelaine and #eatingbyelaine on Instagram so we can be pesto buds.
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Parsley-Pea Pesto Pasta
- Total Time: 15 mins
- Yield: 4 1x
An effortless and gourmet spring pasta dish that will wow your loved ones. It is sweet, garlicky, healthy and every bite is bright green. Adding the broccoli rabe is entirely optional. It makes for a unique spring addition to the dish and is a great way to get even more greens into your diet.
- 10 ounces of gluten-free pasta
- 1 cup fresh flat leaf parsley
- ½ cup sweet peas (fresh or frozen work, if using frozen thaw out completely before using)
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup unsalted raw, unsalted pepita seeds (pumpkin seeds)
- 1 clove garlic
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Optional: one bunch of broccoli rabe, trimmed
- Garnish: 2 spring onions, diced (optional)
- Prepare the pasta. Bring a large pot to a rolling boil and prepare the pasta according to package instructions.
- While the pasta cooks prepare the parsley-pea pesto. Dice the spring onions if using. Set aside.
- Prepare the parsley pesto sauce: add parsley, peas, oil, pepita seeds, garlic, salt and pepper to a mini food processor and process until smooth. Set aside.
- Prepare the broccoli rabe (if using): Add broccoli rabe to salted boiling water for 3-5 minutes until tender and then plunge into ice water. Drain well and add the broccoli rabe to a saute pan with olive oil, salt and pepper for a couple of minutes over medium heat.
- Once the pasta is finished cooking, transfer it to the saute pan with the cooked broccoli rabe (if using) on low heat. Mix in the parsley pesto and diced spring onions. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed. Serve hot.
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 10 mins
- Category: Entree
Original recipe photo from April 2016:
Monique Grimes says
So good! I switched up the parsley for dandelion greens and a small handful of basil...Definitely an amazing pesto!
Elaine Gordon says
Thank you so much, Monique! And thanks for sharing your spin on it! Pesto is one of my favorite sauces because you can basically use any greens you have on hand... arugula... any herb... it is totally flexible... and lots of different nuts work too... all adding a different texture and flavor. Pesto is life!
I so agree...pesto love for the win!
Elaine Gordon says
Thanks! Pesto is magic 🙂
So good!! Will definitely make this again.
Elaine Gordon says
Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know, Lucy! I really appreciate that. So happy you enjoyed this one so much and plan to make it again. Peas are so underrated and I need to keep thinking of ways to incorporate them into recipes 🙂 Best, Elaine