Pea Pesto Pasta Salad

On the left is an image of the pasta salad, on the right an image of the ingredients used. @intothesauce, Into the Sauce, Tori Falzon, #intothesauce
Easter feasting, feat. a pasta salad that is actually good! This zesty pea pesto pasta salad with kale, salmon and walnuts is one to adorn your Easter lunch table with, paired perfectly with a Fierce III Pinot Grigio. The acidity and dry finish of this ready-to-drink Pinot Grigio are ideal to balance the sweet pea pesto and oily fish.


  • 350g pasta (I like spirals, rigatoni or shells for this one, but any short or long pasta would work)
  • 150g walnuts
  • 2 salmon fillets (200-300g)
  • 50ml creme fraiche
  • 300g frozen baby peas, defrosted
  • 1 bunch parsley, leaves picked
  • 1 large bunch (or 2 small packets) dill, leaves picked
  • 70g lemon juice (from 1 large/2 small lemons)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 200ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch kale, stalks removed and torn up roughly
  • 1 bunch spring onions, sliced
  • 3 tbsp capers

Serves 6-8


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and roast walnuts for 6-10 minutes until golden (set a 6 minute timer and keep checking them every minute if they aren’t ready at 6 mins).
  2. Cook pasta until al dente in plenty of salted boiling water, strain and quickly rinse with cold water, then toss with some olive oil so it doesn’t stick.
  3. Increase oven temperature to 220°C. Lay salmon fillets on a lined baking tray, brush with créme fraîche and sprinkle over salt flakes. Bake for 15-18 minutes.
  4. Blanch baby peas for 1 minute, then refresh in ice water and strain. Set aside ⅓ of peas, and place remaining ⅔ in a food processor bowl.
  5. To the food processor bowl, add ¾ bunch parsley, ¾ bunch dill, 50g lemon juice, lemon zest, half your roasted walnuts, garlic, chilli flakes, a pinch of salt and 150ml olive oil.
  6. Pulse until you have a roughly chopped pesto (I like a little more texture in mine because it’s more interesting than a puree and resembles a traditional pesto done in a mortar and pestle).
  7. In a pan over medium heat, wilt kale slightly in remaining 50ml olive oil, then squeeze over some lemon juice and add to a large bowl with the pasta, peas, roasted walnuts, spring onions, capers and kale.
  8. Pour pesto over the pasta mix and toss until combined.
  9. Taste and season.
  10. Flake salmon into large pieces and gently toss through salad.
  11. Serve in a large bowl topped with remaining herbs.

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