30-Minute Family Dinner: Summery Pesto Pasta and Peas
We got a bag of fresh snap peas in our CSA share last week and while they are completely delicious eaten raw, I knew that my young daughter would love them lightly cooked. Sweet, crunchy, and refreshing, fresh snap peas are one of her favorite veggies. And when paired with pasta and pesto, they make one of our favorite family meals. We love this recipe for Pasta and Peas since it’s an almost perfect 30-minute summer dinner.
Here are the simple adjustments that I made based on what we had available:
- The recipe calls for fresh shell peas, but I used snap peas instead since that’s what we have on hand.
- Instead of ditalini pasta, I used our favorite gluten-free penne.
- I left all of the snap peas whole, instead of blending some into the pesto mixture as the recipe says, and increased the amount of basil to make sure there was enough sauce.
- I skipped the prosciutto to make it a vegetarian dinner.
The prep for this recipe is easy since you make a pesto while the pasta is cooking—which means that it’s ideal for a fast weeknight dinner. I could see making similar versions of this with green beans or zucchini instead of snap peas as the summer goes on, and maybe using some bacon in place of the prosciutto on nights when we want a little meat.
It may seem surprising that a 3-year-old likes pesto, but my daughter has happily eaten it almost since she started eating solids. She likes regular basil pesto like this one, spinach pesto, and even pesto made with garlic scapes. I am sure it has something to do with the fact that I usually serve pesto on pasta, which is her favorite food of all time, but she also seems to really enjoy the flavor. It’s a pretty handy way to serve up green veggies without her even really noticing it!
Find the full recipe for Pasta and Peas here and try it for your family this summer.