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Meatless Monday: Penne with pesto, potatoes and peas for a hearty meal

Grab a bottle of pesto, and use everyday ingredients in your pantry to make this amazing Meatless Monday dish.

When I make pasta dishes at home and don’t have the proper ingredients to compose a classic one, I just put together some everyday ingredients in my pantry to create something good enough for my pasta-loving family to be declared a delicious dinner.

One of the recipes I can count on is this dish, because I always have all the ingredients in my pantry. Pesto alone is a great emergency sauce for pasta. I sometimes make my own, but a good pesto Genovese in the pantry saves the day in a busy household. For this dish, the overall taste depends on the kind of pesto Genovese you use. You have to taste the basil, a little bit of the garlic and the Parmigiano-Reggiano or Parmesan cheese. Top this dish with a poached egg for a breakfast meal. Going meatless is not only healthy but can be really delicious too.

Penne with pesto, potatoes, peas and eggs

Penne with pesto, potatoes and peas recipe

If you use your best-tasting jar of pesto Genovese, it will make this pasta dish really good. The ingredients are quite simple and the flavors straightforward.

Serves 4

Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 35 minutes | Total time: 45 minutes


  • 12 ounces penne (or any short pasta of your choice)
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups potatoes, diced small (same size as the peas)
  • 2 cups frozen or fresh peas
  • 1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup bottled pesto Genovese (made of basil, pine nuts, garlic, Parmesan and extra-virgin olive oil)


  1. Over medium to high heat, bring a large pot of water to a boil to cook the pasta. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce.
  2. In a large saucepan with some olive oil over medium heat, sauté the onions. After about 1 minute, add the potatoes. Toss for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the peas and water, and then after 5 minutes, add the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Cover, and simmer on low heat for another 5 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Turn off the heat, and leave the cover on to retain the heat.
  4. If the water for the pasta is already boiling, add some salt and then the pasta. Cook for the number of minutes indicated on the package.
  5. While waiting for the pasta to cook, bring a small pot of water to a boil to poach the eggs. When the water boils, add a pinch of salt, and then slowly drop the eggs that you cracked in a small bowl or cup. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, depending on how well done you want them.
  6. When the pasta is cooked, turn the heat back on to low for the sauce, and then mix in the pasta, pesto and more olive oil.
  7. Serve the pasta in individual bowls, and top with the poached eggs. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

meatless monday

More vegetarian pasta recipes

Orecchiette pasta with broccoli rabe
Pasta with pumpkin cream sauce and crispy sage
Pasta with pea, sage and pecorino pesto

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