Pea Pesto Pasta With Seared Scallops
This Springtime creamy pea pesto pasta with asparagus and perfectly seared scallops is the ultimate bright and fresh scallop pasta dish. I teamed up with Metro to bring you this delicious pasta tossed in a pea pesto that’s spiked with a good amount of lemon juice and lemon zest, garlic, Greek yoghurt and parmesan. It results in a creamy rich pasta that’s so fresh and bright tasting. Great for weeknight cooking, date night, or any other spring & summer occasions.
I topped the pasta with tasty fresh scallops from Metro’s seafood counter. They seared up beautifully in minutes and are delicious tossed in this pea pesto pasta. The rich, sweet, buttery flavour of scallops is balanced by the bright flavors of this spring pea pesto. To keep this recipe gluten free, I used a gluten free pasta from Metro’s Irresistibles brand - Naturalia gluten free Chickpea Fusilli which is made with just chickpeas and rice. It’s protein rich, with 1⅓ cup cooked providing 16 grams of protein. Whether you’re looking to get more protein into your diet or not, this recipe is one you just have to try. Gluten-free pasta is tossed in a creamy, flavourful pea pesto. Delicious, nutritious, and ready in 30 minutes.
Have you tried pea pesto before? If not I think it might be time. One thing I love about pesto is you can make it with just about anything green. Making pesto with peas not only makes a protein packed pesto but it all makes a creamy one with a touch of sweetness from the peas. You can use fresh peas or frozen peas for this recipe. This pea pesto is similar to basil pesto when it comes to the basic ingredients. Fresh basil, toasted pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, garlic and olive oil. For this pea pesto version I used a little less basil and added lemon juice and lemon zest, and some Greek yogurt making it creamier and adding a nice slightly tangy fresh and bright flavour to it.
Key ingredients for this pea pesto pasta with scallops:
This is one delicious pasta that is quite easy to make. Don’t let the scallops intimidate you - they are as easy as searing shrimp. Here is what you will need:
- Peas - Feel free to use fresh or frozen
- Basil - Basil can be replaced with parsley or kale or even cilantro if you like the flavour of those over basil.
- Pine nuts - Always important to toast them lightly for even better flavour. You can replace the pine nuts with toasted almond or walnuts if you like.
- Greek yoghurt - It adds a nice creamy light texture and flavour to the pesto but feel free to use ricotta as a good substitute for it in this recipe.
- Parmesan cheese - freshly grated is best and if you want to replace it with another cheese here are some good suggestions: Asiago. Pecorino romano. Grana padano.
- Pasta - you can use whatever pasta you like - gluten free or regular and any shape too. Be sure to reserve some pasta water to help thin out sauce as needed in the pasta.
- Scallops - You can use either fresh or frozen. I like to use sea scallops because they are a bit larger in size and sear beautifully. To make this delicious pasta - there are three basic steps: 1. Blanch peas and asparagus and cook pasta. 2. Make the pea pesto and 3. sear the scallops - then toss everything together. Simple as that.
How to sear scallops for this peas pesto pasta:
- Make sure your pan is hot. Heat pan with oil using a nonstick pan over medium-high heat.
- Prep the scallops. For a good sear the scallops must be fairly dry. Make sure to use a paper towel to pat the scallops well then season generously with salt & pepper. This is especially true when using frozen and when the scallops have thawed.
- Sear the scallops. Once the oil is hot, add the scallops to the pan & cook for 2-3 minutes per side. Try not to disturb them too much while they are in the pan to ensure a good crust on each side, but you can give the pan a gentle shake if needed. Once done - toss them right into the pasta and enjoy!
If you enjoyed this Springtime pea pesto pasta dish with scallops, you will love these ones:
- Garlic Roasted Vegetable Pesto Pasta
- One Pot Shrimp Pasta Primavera
- Lemon Garlic Shrimp Pasta
- Flatbread Pizza With Pesto Asparagus Prosciutto and Burrata
I have partnered up with Metro Ontario to bring you this fabulous recipe, but all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting Olive & Mango.
- 1 lb asparagus, ends trimmed
- 1 cup peas fresh or frozen
- 2 cups fresh basil
- 1 clove of garlic, smashed and peeled
- Juice and zest of one lemon
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts lightly toasted
- ½ cup plain Greek Yogurt
- 2 tablespoons Finely grated Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup of olive oil plus 1½ tablespoons
- ¾ lb of fresh scallops
- One 227 gram box of Irresistibles Naturalia Chickpea Fusiilli
- ½ cup starchy reserved pasta water
- For serving: toasted pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, chili flakes (optional)
- Blanch trimmed asparagus spears and the peas in boiling water for 2-3 min until tender then drain and rinse with ice cold water and drain again. Remove the asparagus and chop onto 1 inch pieces. Set both aside.
- Make pesto: Pulse together the basil, peas, garlic, lemon zest and juice until finely minced. Add in Parmesan and the yoghurt and just a touch of the ¼ cup of olive oil and pulse until combined. Pour in remaining ¼ cup of olive oil while food processor is going until pesto is smooth adding more olive oil as needed. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste and set aside
- Cook pasta according to package reserving ½ cup of pasta water. Drain pasta and place into large bowl once done.
- While pasta is cooking add remaining 1½ tablespoons of olive oil to a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Pat the scallops dry with paper towel and season with salt and pepper. Once the oil is hot, cook the scallops for 2-3 minutes, until a deep golden crust has formed. Flip and cook for 1-2 minutes more, until the scallops are opaque & cooked through. Transfer to plate and set aside.
- Assemble pasta: Gently toss the pasta & pesto together, adding starchy pasta water a little at a time until the desired consistency is reached. Gently toss in the asparagus. Transfer pasta to serving dish. Top with scallops and serve with extra Parmesan cheese red pepper flakes or chili flakes and extra toasted pine nuts.