Spring Pea Orzo with Pistachio PestoRecipe by: Jane Morgan
Spring is here, so we are sharing an herbaceous new recipe from Jane Morgan, personal chef and recipe developer based in Brooklyn, NY, to help you make the most of the season's produce.
"Welcome to spring, my favorite cooking season. This pasta is a celebration of the gorgeous snap peas, pea shoots, and herbs showing up at the markets and are too good to be eaten any way but raw. The green things-to-pasta ratio is about 50/50, just how I like it, and the pasta is orzo, my unsung hero. It's wonderful warm, room temp, or straight out of the fridge, doesn't require any cooking beyond boiling the orzo, can be eaten with a spoon since everything is about the same size (delightful!), and will absolutely be my go-to stoop lunch and picnic dish this year.
The basil olive oil is the hero of the pesto–it's delicate and herbaceous, and it tastes like spring. I love how the rich, silky pesto plays with the crispy, sweet snap peas, chewy orzo, thick shreds of parmesan, and bright lemon; but it's also great slathered on olive oil-fried sourdough, with crispy eggs, drizzled over pan-seared fish, tossed with boiled potatoes, or frozen in ice cube trays for emergency pasta situations." - Jane Morgan
For the Pesto
- 1/2 cup roasted, unsalted pistachios
- 1/2 cup parmesan
- 2 cups basil leaves
- 1 cup parsley, tender stems and leaves
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (if using salted pistachios, don't add additional salt until you taste the pesto, then adjust)
- 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- Pinch of chili flakes, optional
- 1/2 cup of Brightland ARISE basil olive oil
For the Orzo
- 1 lb orzo
- 2 cups pea shoots
- 2 cups thinly sliced sugar snap peas (the slices should be roughly the size of the cooked orzo for maximum enjoyment)
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- More basil leaves, for topping (optional)
- Grated parmesan, for topping (I like thinly slicing it, then cutting it into thin strips to add a bit more texture, but the larger holes of a cheese grater work great here too!)
- Flaky salt and cracked black pepper
- Brightland ARISE basil olive oil, for drizzling
- 1 Bring a pot of water to a boil. Season generously with salt, then add the orzo and cook until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water, then strain and set aside.
- 2 Meanwhile, make the pesto. In a food processor or blender, pulse the pistachios, parmesan, basil, parsley, garlic, salt, pepper, and chili flakes if using, until everything is well blended and no large bits remain. With the processor on low, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the pesto is emulsified, luscious, and almost creamy. Taste and adjust seasonings.
- 3 In a large mixing bowl, combine orzo, pesto, and lemon juice, and mix, adding splashes of pasta water as needed to keep it saucy. Add pea shoots and snap peas and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. To serve, top with lemon zest, any extra basil leaves or pea shoots, parmesan, flaky salt, pepper, and another drizzle of ARISE for good measure. Serve warm or room temperature, and also straight out of the fridge the next day.