This healthy Pesto Pasta with Arugula, Asparagus, Peas, and Pistachios is fresh, bright, and absolutely delicious! Eat it warm or cold!
Pesto Pasta Recipe
This vegetarian pesto pasta is the perfect way to showcase spring veggies! This lightened-up pesto combines fragrant fresh basil with earthy arugula, salty parmesan, sweet roasted pistachios, and bright lemon juice. Serving it over a bed of fresh arugula adds texture, and topping it with more parmesan and
pistachios makes it insanely good. You can see more healthy pasta recipes or check out some of my favorite spring vegetable recipes are this Creamy Orzo with Asparagus and Peas, Spring Pea Soup, and Asparagus Risotto.
I love Dellalo Pasta! I few years ago I went on the trip of a lifetime to Rome and the Amalfi Coast near Naples, Italy—the center of authentic Italian pasta manufacturing. While there we toured the oldest pasta factory in Italy, located in southern city of Gragnano in the Campania region of Italy. It’s located between the coast and the mountains—the ideal location for making and drying pasta, which also happens to be where they manufacture Dellalo Pasta. On the tour, we visited the mill where Dellalo’s wheat is ground (grain has been milled since the 1200’s). This is my pasta brand of choice when cooking for friends or family.
Pesto Pasta Ingredients
- Basil Pesto Ingredients: Fresh basil, arugula, garlic, parmesan, lemon juice, salt, pistachios, olive oil
- Pasta: You’ll need 10 ounces of whole-wheat Delallo fusilli, or any other short pasta.
- Asparagus: Cut a half pound of asparagus into small pieces.
- Peas: Thaw frozen peas.
- Arugula: The remaining arugula is served with the pasta.
- Olive Oil and Lemon to drizzle over the arugula
- Garnish: The rest of the pistachios, more parmesan, and crushed red pepper flakes if you want a little heat
How to Make Pesto Pasta
- Make the Basil Pesto: Blend the basil, half cup of arugula, garlic, parmesan, a half teaspoon of salt, juice from one lemon half, and a tablespoon of pistachios in a food processor or blender. Scrape the sides of the processor, and then add three tablespoons of oil, one at a time, pulsing and scraping the sides to combine as needed.
- Cook the Pasta and Vegetables: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook according to the package directions. One minute before it’s done, throw in the asparagus and peas
- and cook for the last minute. Scoop out about a quarter cup of pasta water. Next, drain the pasta and veggies.
- Mix the Pasta with Pesto: Transfer the pasta mixture to a large bowl and stir in the pesto. Add a tablespoon of pasta water one at a time until the sauce is smooth and the pasta is well coated.
- Serve: Layer the remaining arugula into five shallow bowls or a large serving platter. Squeeze the juice of the remaining lemon half over the greens, then drizzle with olive oil. Spoon the pasta over the arugula, and garnish with the remaining pistachios, more cheese, and red pepper flakes.
What goes with pesto pasta?
You can eat this vegetarian pesto pasta as a complete meal since it’s packed with veggies. If you want to add a protein, here are some ideas:
How to Store Pesto Pasta
This easy pesto pasta will last up to four days in the fridge. Microwave the pasta until warm and serve over arugula and top with pistachios and cheese.
- Pesto: If you want a more traditional pesto, use this basil pesto recipe instead. Make a double the batch, and save half for other recipes throughout the week. This pesto sauce is great on zoodles, burgers, and chicken.
- Protein: Add shrimp or chicken to the pesto pasta.
- Gluten-Free: Swap whole-wheat pasta with gluten-free.
More Pesto Recipes You’ll Love
Yield: 5 servings
Serving Size: 1 1/2 generous cups
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Meanwhile, in a food processor or blender (I used my mini processor), add the basil, ½ cup of the arugula, the garlic, Parmesan, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, juice from ½ lemon and 1 tablespoon pistachios.
Pulse to chop, scraping the sides of the processor or blender as needed, to evenly combine. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing and scraping the sides to combine as needed.
When the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook according to package instructions. One minute before the pasta is done, add the asparagus and peas and continue cooking the pasta with the veggies for the remaining 1 minute.
Carefully scoop out about ¼ cup of the pasta water then drain pasta and veggies.
Transfer the pasta and veggies to a large bowl then add the pesto. Toss to combine. Add the reserved pasta water, about 1 tablespoon at a time, gently mixing to combine, until sauce is smooth and pasta is well coated.
Layer the remaining arugula, about 1 cup each in the bottom of 5 shallow bowls or on a large serving platter.
Squeeze the juice of the remaining lemon half over the arugula then drizzle with 2 teaspoons olive oil. Top with the pasta (about 1 ½ cups each if serving in individual bowls) then garnish with remaining pistachios and more cheese and pepper flakes (if using). You can eat this warm or cold.
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*check labels for vegetarian
Serving: 1 1/2 generous cups, Calories: 380 kcal, Carbohydrates: 52 g, Protein: 14 g, Fat: 15 g, Saturated Fat: 2.5 g, Cholesterol: 3 mg, Sodium: 245 mg, Fiber: 9 g, Sugar: 6 g
This recipe is sponsored by Delallo. Thank you for allowing me to share the products I love, which allow you to get these recipes for free.