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Author Notes: Most all of us love a classic basil pesto but sometimes, it's that song stuck in your head that you just want out--even though you still love it. This pesto has a touch of basil, to soothe the need for familiarity, but brings three other greens to the table to break up the routine--kale, baby spinach, and fresh mint. English peas, although in peak season, see spurts of availability all year. If all else fails, frozen peas are a perfect substitute for this simple and fresh main dish. —One Happy Place
For the pesto:
- 1/2 cup fresh basil
- 2 tablespoons fresh mint
- 1/4 cup fresh curly kale
- 1/4 cup fresh baby spinach
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons water
For the pasta:
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt (for salting pasta water)
- 1 cup english peas, shelled
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1/4 cup pasta cooking water
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated (for garnish)
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt boiling water and cook spaghetti accordingly to the package directions, to al dente.
- While the spaghetti cooks, combine all of the pesto ingredients into a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth. Add more water, if necessary, to achieve a smooth consistency.
- Add remaining olive oil, for the pasta, in a large skillet that is over medium heat. Heat olive oil for 30 seconds and add the fresh peas. Let the peas sauté for a minute before adding the water and covering the skillet with a lid. Let peas steam for an additional 30 seconds. Turn off the heat.
- When pasta is done, add the hot noodles to the skillet of peas. As a quick reminder, do not drain the pasta before reserving the pasta cooking water.
- Finish the dish by plating the spaghetti and peas, topping with a healthy portion of pesto and a sprinkle of cheese.