Watercress Pesto Pasta with Peas and Asparagus

Serves 4-6

Basil isn’t the only green you can use to make a pesto: This springtime recipe uses watercress to make a vibrant sauce for gluten-free pasta.

Gluten-Free Watercress Pesto Pasta Recipe


  • 4 cups packed watercress, leaves and stems
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 14 ounces gluten-free pasta
  • 1½ cups peas, fresh or frozen
  • ½ pound asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Salt, to taste
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste


Place all pesto ingredients except the olive oil into a food processor. Process ingredients for about 15 seconds and then, while keeping the food processor on, drizzle in the olive oil. Set aside.


Add salt to taste to large pot of water and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions. Five minutes before the pasta is done, add the peas, then with about 30 seconds of cooking time left add the asparagus. Remove from the heat, drain the pasta in a colander and place back in the pot.


Pour the pesto sauce over the pasta and mix until everything is combined. Season with salt and red pepper flakes. Serve warm.

Nutrition Analysis: 480 cal, 25 g fat, 5 mg chol, 260 mg sodium, 59 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 10 g protein.

Recipe and photos by Isadora Lassance. Lassance lives in Tucson, Arizona, with her husband and their orange cat, Cheeto. She blogs about whole food and seasonal ingredients at shelikesfood.com