Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Spring Pasta with Peas, Mushrooms, and Parsley-Arugula Pesto

Ah, spring. The season that brings long-awaited warmer temperatures and happier moods to my corner of the [New England] world. But my absolute favorite part about spring: the fresh, local produce that starts popping up everywhere. 

Ramps, fiddleheads, arugula, fresh herbs - so many green, delicious things sprout up in the spring. And while we're still impatiently waiting for many of these things to be available to us, I tried willing spring's harvest with this super green, super tasty pasta dish. (You're welcome).

Spring Pasta with Peas, Mushrooms, and Parsley-Arugula Pesto | The Economical Eater

Chock-full of sweet peas, meaty mushrooms, and a bright, slightly peppery pesto, this spring-friendly pasta dish was a nice [albeit somewhat cruel] tease for what's to come. 

Spring Pasta with Peas, Mushrooms, and Parsley-Arugula Pesto
Yields: 4 servings
-2 tablespoons olive oil
-2 cups white button mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
-1 clove garlic, minced
-Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
-Splash of dry white wine (I used pinot grigio)
-Salt and black pepper, to taste
-3 cups whole wheat penne (or whichever pasta you wish)
-1 cup frozen peas
-3 spoonfuls Parsley-Arugula Pesto (recipe follows)
-Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

1.) Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms, and cook until they begin to brown, about 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and crushed red pepper flakes, and cook until garlic becomes fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add wine, salt, and black pepper, and cook for one minute more.
2.) Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta, and cook until it begins to become al dente, about 6-7 minutes (time will vary depending on type of pasta used). With one minute of cooking time left, add peas. Drain pasta and peas together in a strainer.
3.) Return pasta and peas to the pot, and stir in mushroom mixture. Add pesto, and stir until pesto is incorporated. Serve with a generous garnish of Parmesan cheese.

Parsley-Arugula Pesto:*
-2 (loosely packed) cups fresh parsley
-2 (tighly packed) cups arugula
-1 clove garlic, peeled
-1/4 cup walnuts
-1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
-Juice of half a lemon
-Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
-2/3 cup olive oil
-Salt and black pepper, to taste

1.) Add above ingredients, through crushed red pepper flakes, to a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Turn on food processor, and stream in olive oil while food processor is running.
2.) Taste pesto and add salt and black pepper as needed.

*One quick note: I made this pesto to make use of leftover parsley and arugula, so I kind of winged the amount of greens used. Just taste and adjust as needed after all of the ingredients are incorporated. 

Spring Pasta with Peas, Mushrooms, and Parsley-Arugula Pesto | The Economical Eater

This dish was surprisingly light yet full of nutritious, satiating ingredients. (Yes, Parmesan cheese is my opinion, anyway). We actually ate heaping bowls of this by itself, although you could serve it alongside a simple green salad and/or some garlic bread, if you so choose.

What vegetable and/or fruit are you most looking forward to this spring?


  1. This looks so springy and awesome! I love artichokes at this time of year!

  2. This looks fantastic! Definitely trying this one.