Fusilli with Pea Pesto and Smoked Mozzarella

Total Time:
55 min
35 min
20 min

4 to 6 servings

  • Pasta:
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound fusilli pasta
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • Pesto:
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine, such as pinot grigio
  • 2 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed
  • 4 ounces smoked mozzarella, rind removed, grated (1 cup)
  • 1 packed cup baby spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, from 1/2 a large lemon
  • Zest of 1 large lemon
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted, coarsely chopped
Watch how to make this recipe.
  • For the pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water. Place the drained pasta in a large bowl. Add the cheese and toss until coated.

  • For the pesto: In a small skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallots, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the pepper. Cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and cool slightly.

  • In the bowl of a food processor, combine the peas, smoked mozzarella, spinach, Parmesan, lemon juice, lemon zest, the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and the cooked shallot mixture. Blend until smooth, but still slightly chunky.

  • Pour the pesto over the pasta and toss until coated, adding the reserved pasta water as needed to loosen the sauce. Sprinkle with the toasted almonds and serve.

Cook's Note: To toast the almonds, arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F oven until lightly toasted, 6 to 8 minutes. Cool completely before using.

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