The sweetness of the peas, nuttiness of the parmesan and decadence of the crispy shallots make this pasta a stand-out side dish (great for bringing to a summer party!) or indulgent main course for the next time you encounter a serious pasta craving.
makes about 6-8 servings
1 package pasta (I used whole wheat thin spaghetti)
1 ten-ounce package of frozen peas, thawed
3-4 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 cup of parmesan, plus extra for garnish
1/2 cup of walnuts (pine nuts work too)
5-6 fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 large shallot, thinly sliced (for garnish)
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon of olive oil, separated
salt and pepper to taste
In a blender or food processor, combine most of the peas (set aside some to keep whole for garnish), garlic, parmesan, walnuts, mint, parsley and 1/3 cup of olive oil. Blend until smooth, adding extra olive oil if necessary for consistency. The pesto should have a thick and creamy texture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Toss pasta with pesto and whole peas.
While the pasta continues to cool, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Pan fry the shallot in oil until crispy and golden brown, then drain off excess oil on a paper towel.
Serve pasta at room temperature, sprinkled with parmesan cheese and crispy shallots.