Summer Pea Orecchiette Pesto Pasta Recipe

This Summer Pea Orecchiette Pesto Pasta Recipe makes the perfect early summer dish to celebrate the arrival of peas in gardens and markets everywhere. If you haven’t already, go get yourself a bag and start shelling…

Summer Time is Shelling Time

Shelling peas is the ultimate nostalgic early summer meal task. One usually done with grandma on the back porch, near a sleeping dog and a cold glass of lemonade. When I was younger, I ate more peas than I shelled but as I got older, I found a strange pride in keeping sampling to a minimum. This iron will was applied to any kind of picking, but was especially difficult during berry season. I guess I just realized that the ingredient that I was preparing/picking would eventually become part of something greater. 

Give Peas a Chance

In the case of fresh peas, ‘something greater’ was enough creamed peas to feed at least ten people. This included all the hungry men coming in from a long day of farming. That first feed of peas was something everyone looked forward to. I felt honour and pride when I placed the bowl of creamed peas on the table. It was the first bowl to be passed around (clockwise direction only please!) and the first bowl to be emptied.

The planting, weeding, and harvesting was through my grandma’s hard work, but she was kind enough to share her glory with eight year old me. Funny, I was just thinking I don’t know how to make creamed peas like grandma used to. I’ll have to get the recipe from her very soon, if there is a recipe! 

A side view of a bright green pasta dish featuring spring peas and shoots with orecchiette pasta.

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Summer Pea Orecchiette Pesto Pasta Inspiration

Today I don’t have a garden large enough to grow enough peas to feed my family. In order to have a decent ‘pea feed’  buy a large bag of fresh peas at the farmer’s market. It doesn’t take very long to shell them for my small bunch and it certainly brings back those memories. This Summer Pea Orecchiette Pesto Pasta is our favourite way to eat fresh peas.Basil and fresh peas are such a delicious combination…one worth exploring over and over again. I like to use orecchiette because it holds the pesto quite well and if you’re lucky, you’ll find a pea stuck inside the pasta shell too. 

Pin Summer Pea Orecchiette Pesto Pasta Recipe HERE.

A pin image with two photos of a bright green pea and pesto pasta dish.

Other Delicious Green Posts from Dish ‘n’ the Kitchen

Spring Ramp (Wild Leek) Pesto

Wild Rice Asparagus Salad 

Yield: Serves 3

Summer Pea Orecchiette Pesto Pasta Recipe

Summer Pea Orecchiette Pesto Pasta Recipe

This Summer Pea Orecchiette Pesto Pasta Recipe makes the perfect early summer dish to celebrate the arrival of peas in gardens and markets everywhere. If you haven’t already, go get yourself a bag and start shelling!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 3 cups freshly shelled peas
  • 1/3 cup walnuts or pine nuts; lightly toasted
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan Reggiano
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh basil
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  • 3 tbsp cream
  • tender pea shoots for garnish
  • 1 package orecciette pasta cooked according to package directions


  1. While the pasta is cooking; add 2 cups of the peas (reserve 1 cup), nuts, cheese, basil, salt and pepper to a food processor or blender.
  2. Blend together, then drizzle in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil while still blending.
  3. Transfer to a small pot, add the rest of the peas and gently heat for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add some cream to thin it out a bit.
  5. Drain pasta, reserving 1/4 cup of the liquid.
  6. Add peas and pesto to the pot of pasta and gently toss to combine.
  7. Garnish with pea shoots and slivers of Parmesan Reggiano.

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  1. Sabrina

    I absolutely love fresh peas and they are the perfect base for pesto, lovely fresh and sweet. Delicious recipe, thank you!


    1. Bernice Hill

      They sure are! Thanks for stopping by Sabrina.

  2. Vanessa | Zest & Simmer

    I’ve been obsessed with peas in pasta lately! And I’m always up for anything with pesto. What a fantastic recipe!!!


    1. Bernice Hill

      Thank you Vanessa! Peas and pesto are delicious combo!

  3. Justine @

    Such a gorgeous summery pasta, Bernice! I also really enjoyed reading about your memory of shelling peas as a child. 🙂


    1. dishnthekitchen

      Thank you so much Justine 🙂

  4. mdivadomestica

    Super! What a summer bounty. Perfection as always.


  5. diversivore

    Just gorgeous! I love orecchiette, and I LOVE fresh peas. The texture of your pesto looks absolutely perfect! Great recipe Bernice.


  6. sugarlovespices

    Hi Bernice
    We found some beautiful pea pods at the market on Saturday and they were plum full of peas. Nicoletta made rice and peas, and said they were amazing. I love peas even just boiled then sautéed with some onions. But your orecchiette looks absolutely fabulous. Great job on this one.
    Have a fabulous week end.


  7. thefoodblognet

    This looks amazing! My garden is bursting with peas at the moment so this recipe is a must try. Thanks.


  8. chef mimi

    What a fabulous recipe! I tried growing peas and beans here, but to no avail. This makes me want to try again!


    1. dishnthekitchen

      The good news is that peas freeze really well so this recipe works nicely with them too!

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