Vegetable Pesto Pasta

Spring Vegetable Pesto Pasta

A pasta that is as bright, fresh, and green as the first asparagus stalks and pea pods to show up in early spring. The recipe is much heavier in vegetables and lighter in pasta than your typical plate of pasta. The pesto, made of equal parts basil and mint, pulls it all together. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 11 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4
Author katiemorford


  • 1 packed cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 packed cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 small clove peeled garlic
  • 3 tablespoons pinenuts or slivered almonds
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus more to pass at the table
  • 1 bunch fresh asparagus, tough ends snapped off, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup English peas, fresh or frozen (defrosted)
  • 2 six-ounce jars marinated artichoke hearts, drained
  • 8 ounces Sprouts organic penne pasta


  1. Fill a medium pot with water and add enough salt that it tastes slightly salty. Bring it to a boil over high heat and add the pasta.

  2. While the pasta cooks, put the basil, mint, garlic, pinenuts, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt in a blender or food processor and run until blended into a loose paste, scraping down the sides and running again, as needed. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in the Parmesan cheese. 
  3. Cook the pasta until nearly done. Add the asparagus and peas to the boiling water and cook another 1 to 2 minutes until the asparagus is just barely tender. Reserve about ΒΌ cup of pasta water before draining. 

  4. Transfer pasta, asparagus, peas, and drained artichoke hearts to a large bowl. Add as much pesto as desired and stir well. Add a little of the cooking water, if needed, to moisten the pasta a bit.

  5. Serve with Parmesan on the side.