A light and summery pesto of mint and lemon makes a wonderful quick sauce for a speedy pasta supper, or brushed onto fish wrapped up and baked for a hit of flavour.
I blitzed up a whole heap of mint leaves with the zest of a lemon, some toasted pine nuts, Italian hard cheese (vegetarian friendly) and olive oil. I didn’t put excessive amounts of olive oil in as I wanted to achieve more of a paste consistency so it spreads well on meat and fish.
When I served it up over pasta for the boys I dropped a splurge of garlic butter into the tagliatelle just after I drained it, and then a small amount of pesto. It gave just the right amount of flavour for them, without overpowering their tastebuds. I also boiled up some frankfurters with the pasta at the same time for a very very speedy protein fix. They’d just got back from swimming and their appetites were raging!
Lemon and mint pesto with tagliatelle
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 5 mins
For the pesto
60g pine nuts
Large pot mint – 20g leaves
zest of 1 lemon
1 small garlic clove, chopped
60g parmesan cheese (or vegetarian alternative)
60ml extra virgin olive oil
1. Heat a dry frying pan over a medium/high heat and toast the pine nuts until golden, keep them moving so they don’t catch and once their colour changes remove from the heat immediately.
2. Pop them in a blender jug with the mint leaves, lemon zest, garlic and parmesan and blitz to combine, then gradually pour in the oilve oil until you reach the desired consistency. Check the flavours and season accordingly.
3. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and cook the pasta according to packet instructions. Drain and toss in a bowl with a splash of olive oil and pesto to taste. Serve with a scattering of toasted pine nuts, fresh mint leaves and lemon zest.
How do you like yours?
I love the fact that you can experiment with different herbs, nuts and cheeses to make your own bespoke pestos… what’s your favourite combination? Let me know in the comments below.
This is my very late entry into Speedy Suppers, an event hosted by myself and Sarah Maison Cupcake to celebrate all things quick to eat that are on the table within 30 minutes! This month’s theme is Pasta so if you’ve got a recipe to add you’ve got one day left to get it in… I’ll be rounding up the entries next week, so watch this space for some express inspiration.
As mint is such a lovely summery ingredient, i’ll also be entering this recipe into Ren’s ever popular Simple And In Season… if you’ve not checked out her blog before I suggest you do immediately!
And finally the recipe will be calling in at Cooking With Herbs – a lovely event hosted by Karen of Lavender & Lovage