Farfalle With Pea and Feta Pesto 4.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Weeknight Vegetarian Jun 11, 2014

A simplified, deconstructed riff on pesto -- using peas, mint and scallions instead of basil, omitting the olive oil and leaving the nuts whole for texture -- helps bring a vivid taste of spring to the pasta bowl.

Make Ahead: The pesto can be refrigerated for up to 5 days; let it come to room temperature before tossing it with the hot pasta.

4 - 6

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Tested size: 4-6 servings

  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound freshly shelled English peas (about 3 1/2 cups; may substitute frozen/defrosted peas)
  • 12 ounces dried farfalle (may substitute fusilli or other curly pasta)
  • 2 scallions, trimmed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 4-ounce block feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons packed fresh mint leaves, plus a few more for garnish
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted (see NOTE)


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the peas; cook/blanch just until bright green and tender but not mushy, no more than a few minutes. Scoop out and drain the peas, leaving the water in the pot (over medium-high heat).

Once the water returns to a boil, add the pasta and cook it according to the package directions.

While the pasta is cooking, reserve 1 cup of the peas; transfer the rest to a food processor along with the scallions, garlic, three-quarters of the feta and the mint leaves. Process to form a smooth pesto.

When the pasta is ready, drain it, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water. Transfer the pasta to a large serving bowl. Add the pesto and toss, gradually adding a little of the cooking water as needed to create a creamy sauce.

Divide among individual bowls. Top each portion with some of the reserved peas and the toasted pine nuts. Crumble some of the remaining ounce of feta over each portion, sprinkle a few mint leaves for garnish, and serve warm.

NOTE: Toast the pine nuts in a small, dry skillet over medium-low heat, shaking the pan occasionally to avoid scorching, until the nuts are golden brown and fragrant. Cool completely before using.

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Recipe Source

From Food editor Joe Yonan, author of "Eat Your Vegetables: Bold Recipes for the Single Cook" (Ten Speed Press, 2013).

Tested by Joe Yonan.

E-mail questions to the Food Section.

E-mail questions to the Food Section at food@washpost.com.