Linguine with Pea-Basil Pesto and Mushrooms

pea basil pesto pasta

It's not all that often that I cook pasta, but when I do it surely is a comfort. Coming as it does in so many shapes and sizes and varieties, the possibilities for pasta are endless, and if you are extra ambitious you may want to make your own fresh pasta at home. I rather cheated here I suppose because I used fresh pasta from the grocery store down the street. No matter, as it didn't spoil the dish in the least. And it's green too and thus a timely post for an easy St. Patrick's Day meal.

Opting out of a tomato based sauce, I went for this fresh pesto sauce with peas and basil. Keep this one in mind for summer when you have an overabundance of fresh basil growing in your herb garden and fresh peas on hand at your local market. The depth of flavors goes so well with sautéed mushrooms, which are pretty much a must for me when I think of pasta for dinner.

pesto pasta with mushrooms

This dish is vegan friendly too, if you omit the cheese. I was rather sparing with it myself because I wanted the fresh pesto flavor to shine along with the meaty mushrooms, and I don't think you will be disappointed if you leave it out altogether. Use your favorite pasta because it will taste just as well with any noodle or shell pasta, and feel free to load it up with lots of cheese if that suits your fancy too.

Linguine with Pea-Basil Pesto and MushroomsLinguine with Pea-Basil Pesto and Mushrooms
Recipe by
Cuisine: Italian
Published on March 17, 2013

Pasta tossed with mushrooms and a fresh and delicious basil, pea and walnut pesto

Preparation: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

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  • 1/2 oz (14 g) dried mushrooms
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 to 2 jalapeños, seeded and chopped
  • 1 1/4 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • a few handfuls of walnuts, chopped
  • large handful of fresh basil, torn or chopped
  • sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons soft goat cheese or ricotta (optional)
  • 8 oz (250 g) button mushrooms, sliced
  • 12 to 16 oz (350 to 450 g) fresh or dried linguine or other pasta
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • Soak the dried mushrooms in 1 1/2 cups of hot water for 20 minutes. Drain, reserving the soaking liquid, and roughly chop the mushrooms. Set aside.

  • Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the onion, garlic and jalapeños, and stir for 3 to 4 minutes to soften the onion. Stir in 3/4 cup of the peas along with most of the walnuts (reserve some for garnish) and continue to stir for another minute. Toss the basil into the pan, pour in 2/3 cup of the reserved mushroom soaking liquid, and season with salt and black pepper to taste. Stir in the cheese if using, remove from heat, and set aside to cool for a few minutes.

  • Transfer the mixture to a mortar and pestle, blender or food processor, and process until mostly smooth, adding more of the reserved liquid as necessary. Set aside.

  • In the same skillet, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. When hot, toss in the fresh and dried mushrooms and stir for 5 minutes or until the fresh mushrooms begin to brown and lose some of their juices. Remove from heat.

  • In a large pot, cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package, adding any remaining mushroom soaking liquid to the cooking water along with salt and a drop of oil. Drain, rinse quickly with cold water, and return to the pot and gently reheat, stirring in the pesto and cooked mushrooms. Add a few sprinkles of water if it is too dry and stir in the remaining peas and check for seasoning.

  • Serve hot, garnished with Parmesan, walnuts and fresh basil leaves if desired.

Makes 4 to 8 servings

pesto pasta with mushrooms

Other pasta creations you are sure to enjoy from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen:
Kamut Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce
Penne with Indian-Style Tomato Sauce and Mushrooms
Jalapeño and Tomato Macaroni & Cheese


PhilipB. said...

Hi Lisa--
Thanks for the recipe! I'm thinking this will be perfect way to use some of the nettles sitting in my freezer waiting to be made into nettle pasta. A question: dried pasta weighs considerably less than fresh; since you mentioned it in your post, should I assume that the weight you've given is for fresh, and I should reduce the amount if using dried?

Lisa Turner said...

Thanks Philip. That's a decent point you make, so you may want to adjust the amount of pasta you are using if dried, though the recipe is pretty forgiving in terms of quantities.

Unknown said...

This sounds delicious, I love pasta, pesto and mushrooms together. Thanks for entering Pasta Please

Juhi said...

I made this day before and it turned out lovely! Thanks for sharing!