Sweet peas are mashed with avocado and toasted pine nuts for an untraditional, yet luxuriously creamy, pesto sauce. String beans, lima beans and penne round out this green-hued pasta to celebrate Spring. This recipe comes to us from Trudy of veggie.num.num.
For the pea and avocado pesto:
1 1/2 ounces pine nuts, toasted
2 cups baby peas, shelled
2 garlic cloves, diced
Lemon juice, to taste
2 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
To complete the Pea and Avocado Penne:
2 tablespoons olive oil
10.5 ounces penne pasta, cooked according to package instructions
9 ounces green beans, trimmed
1 1/2 cups canned lima beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups fresh lima beans, cooked
To make the pea and avocado pesto:
Toast the pine nuts in a dry pan over medium-high heat for 2-4 minutes, or until the pine nuts become fragrant. Set aside to cool.
Place about 3 cups of water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and cook the peas for 1-3 minutes, or until just tender. Strain, rinse and set aside.
When the pine nuts have cooled, reserve a few for garnish. Chop the rest roughly.
Place the avocado, pees, garlic, chopped pine nuts together in a large bowl. Drizzle with a few squeezes of lemon juice and mash with a fork until the pesto comes together, but still maintains some variety of texture. Stir in the chopped baby spinach and set aside.
To complete the Pea Avocado Penne:
Place fill a double boiler or steamer with water over medium-high heat. Add the green beans and steam for 3-4 minutes, or until just tender. Set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the steamed green beans and lima beans, toss to combine and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the cooked penne and mix until combined.
Reduce heart to low and add the pea and avocado pesto. Toss until the pesto is evenly distributed on throughout the penne, green beans and lima beans.
Divide the pasta into 6 portions and enjoy topped with the reserved pine nuts and a few extra baby spinach leaves.