Pasta, Pesto, and Peas

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This is one of my favorite ways to use homemade pesto. This is a Barefoot Contessa recipe that my good friend, Katherine, introduced me to. I would HIGHLY recommend halving this. In which case I only use a total of 3/4 lb of one kind of pasta. Actually, I usually skimp a bit on the pasta – we don’t like too many noodles. I use more than 1/2 lb and less than 3/4 lb. :) Remember to marinate the Lemon Grilled Chicken early for this recipe.

You guys, this is SO GOOD! You really should try it!


Pasta, Pesto, and Peas
submitted by Erin


¾ lb. fusilli pasta
¾ lb. bow-tie pasta
¼ cup olive oil
1 ½ cups homemade pesto (recipe already posted)
1 10-oz package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
3 Tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 ¼ cup good mayonnaise
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 ½ cups frozen peas, defrosted
1/3 cup pignolis, toasted (To toast pignolis [pine nuts] place them in a dry sauté pan and cook over medium heat for about 4 minutes, until evenly browned, tossing frequently.)
¾ tsp salt
¾ tsp black pepper


Lemon Grilled Chicken pieces, cooked (recipe below)
Cook the fusilli and bow ties separately in a large pot of boiling salted water for 10-12 minutes, until each pasta is al dente. Drain and toss into a bowl with the olive oil. Cool to room temperature. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, puree the pesto, spinach, and lemon juice. Add the mayonnaise and continue to puree. Add the pesto mixture to the cooled pasta, then add the cooked chicken pieces, Parmesan cheese, peas, pine nuts, salt and pepper. Mix well and season to taste. DELICIOUS.



Lemon Grilled Chicken (Already posted but I’ll post it again for convenience. I got this recipe from Melanie a long time ago and use it all the time!) 

Juice of one lemon (~3 Tb lemon juice)
3 Tb oil
1 tsp minced garlic (~ 2 medium or 1 large clove)
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
½ tsp oregano
1 lb chicken breasts

Marinate chicken overnight. Usually, if I plan on using this for a pasta dish or pizza, where the chicken needs to be cut up, I cut up the raw chicken before I add it to the marinade. Then after it marinades overnight I cook the pieces in a pan on the stove and drain off the juices/marinade.


  1. Anonymous says

    I just made this and it was very good…used already made pesto and got thumbs up from all family members and no one even knew that spinach was an ingredient. They thought all the green was from the pesto…ha ha …fooled them!!
    Thanks for sharing one of Ina Gartens great recipes

  2. Melissa says

    WOW! This was awesome! I LOVED it. Sooooo good :) Thanks for a great recipe. I cut everything in half – made the pesto from scratch with given recipe. I think mine needed a little bit more noodles. But, I will for sure make it again!

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