Fresh basil is in abundance during the summertime. Liz from The Lemon Bowl has an easy recipe for fresh basil pesto sauce that you can incorporate into her recipe for Lemony Pesto Pasta with Peas. If you’ve got a prolific basil plant, make extra pesto and freeze it for a quick dinner later!
This pasta salad can be served cold, warm, or at room temperature, so it’s a perfect dish for casual summer dining. Add some grilled vegetables, chicken, or salmon to round out the meal. Of course, don’t forget the wine! Try pairing your meal with one of these options:
Lemony Pesto Pasta with Peas Recipe and Wine Pairing
For wine we look for something to match the richness of the pasta, sharpness of the salty cheese, and herbaceous pesto lightened up by the fresh lemon. Crisp herbaceous white wines first come to mind, but if you add in some salmon, chicken, or steak, you can even pair this with a heartier white or even a red wine.
Chardonnay: Chateau Ste. Michelle Indian Wells Chardonnay ~ $17
This chardonnay has plenty of luscious tropical fruit, pineapple, apricot, and Meyer lemon aromas with a creamy and rich texture in the mouth. This wine is rich, yet smooth, with nice acidity. The creaminess of this wine begs for you to add some buttery shrimp to the pesto pasta and you’ve got yourself a winning dish.
Gruner Veltliner: Weingut Fred Loimer Gruner Veltliner ~ $17
Gruner is great with herbs and veggies, and this one is no exception. Green apple, fresh lemon, and lemon zest, along with some floral and mineral aromas and fresh and juicy on the palate. The apple and citrus notes will complement the pesto alone but would be a nice match with some grilled chicken or fish added as well.
Sauvignon Blanc: Cannonball Sauvignon Blanc ~ $14
Crisp, zesty, herbaceous, and light, this is a more traditional pairing for pesto. This wine has some apple and citrus, along with some fun pineapple, guava, and honeysuckle aromas. You’ll find sweet lemon flavors in the mouth with lively acidity brightening everything up.
Nero d’Avola: Cusumano Nero d’Avola ~ $10
If you’re craving a red to go with your pasta, stick to fruity Italian reds like this one from Sicily. Fruit driven with rich cherry and red berry fruit and a touch of spice and floral aromas. This is easy drinking at an excellent price. While it would go equally well with a red sauce, it will stand up nicely to this pesto, especially if you compliment it with some red meat or grilled chicken.
Sangiovese: Di Majo Norante ~ $10
While Sangiovese is usually recommended with pizza and red sauce, it can hold its own with pesto as well. This one has red berry fruit, cherry, and violets, along with herbs, spice, and leather. Smooth and juicy in the mouth with soft tannins and nice acidity, this is a versatile food wine. It’s also another great value.
More Meatless Recipe & Wine Pairings:
We hope you enjoy our wine pairing choices. If you want to know which wines YOU will like best, download the FREE iPhone app Wine4.Me. Tell it what wines you know you like and get your own personalized rankings of best-selling, widely available wines in the US.