Pea & Avocado Pesto

Pea & Avocado Pesto: (from A Little Bit Crunchy A Little Bit Rock and Roll)

1/2 cup toasted walnuts (or pine nuts) with additional for sprinkling later

2 cups peas

1 avocado

2-3 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

lemon juice

Remaining ingredients:

1 box whole grain penne

about a 1/2 pound green beans, trimmed

2 cups beans, cooked (I used cannellini beans)

1-2 shallots, thinly sliced

1-2 diced plum tomatoes

extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Bring 3 cups of water to a boil and cook the peas for 1 to 3 minutes until just tender.  Strain and set aside.  Roughly chop the nuts.  

In a bowl, mash the avocado with the cooled peas, garlic, and nuts.  Give a good squeeze of lemon.  (Don't over mash.)  Stir in the chopped spinach.  Set aside.

While pasta is cooking, steam the green beans for 3-4 minutes until just tender.  

Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil and cook the shallots until they are lightly browned.  Add the green beans, cannellini beans, and diced tomatoe and toss for 1-2 minutes over medium heat.  Add the pasta and and stir in the pesto. 

Top with parmesan cheese and additional walnuts.