One evening I went to a restaurant in Rome, Italy, and I saw pesto alla menta (mint pesto) on the menu. Curious, I ordered it and I thought it was excellent. What strikes the most about it is how the mint taste is not at all overpowering: this pesto has nothing to do, taste-wise, with what we may expect from a mint-base dish or drink, so forget about mint tea and candy and think afresh variant of basil pesto. This shouldn’t really surprise me, as both basil and mint belong to the Lamiaceae family. If you’re looking for basil and mint pesto, a sweet mint pesto recipe, or mint and almond pesto to make a basil mint pesto pasta, here’s a great, fresh, and healthy alternative recipe!
Basil and mint pesto alternative: Mint and almond pesto recipe
Back home in the US, we have a vegetable garden where loads of mint grow, so I thought to recreate the mint pesto recipe. For anyone who’s been searching for a basil and mint pesto recipe, a sweet mint pesto recipe, or mint and almond pesto to make a basil mint pesto pasta recipe, here’s how you can do it!
What pasta should you use? Picking the right ingredients
Mint pesto is good with a variety of shapes. You can use any pasta format, from farfalle, orecchiette, fusilli to linguine or spaghetti.
mint and almond pesto recipe — just like the more traditional basil-made, Genoese pesto –– is not cooked so the quality of the ingredients used in the preparation will make all the difference.
I already mentioned how I use fresh, homegrown mint: you can’t beat it!
I also use real Pecorino: in Italian, Pecorino means sheep cheese. Note that the most famous Pecorino is the Roman and it is called Pecorino Romano. The US imitation is called just “Romano,” which means “from Rome,” it is made with cow milk, and it is not even from Rome: that will not work. In this recipe, just as in all other Italian recipes, really, try to get original, made in Italy ingredients: the taste and the quality of your dish will be so much better.
Here’s the Mint and almond Pesto recipe!
My recipe calls for the following ingredients:
- A bunch of fresh mints
- A clove of garlic
- Toasted almonds
- 30 gr of Pecorino (of good quality, as discussed above)
- Extra virgin olive oil (the same considerations made for Pecorino should be made for extra virgin olive oil: quality is essential)
- Black Peppercorns
Process of mint pesto recipe:
- Put in the blender: mint leaves, Pecorino cheese (I had a chunk of it, but you can use also already-grated Pecorino), pepper, and salt (not much of it since Pecorino is already pretty salty. Blend.
- Add to the mint and almond pesto recipe extra virgin olive oil to make it creamy.
- Bring to the boil a pan of water, add salt when it starts to boil.
- Add the chosen pasta.
- Before draining, make sure you keep a spoonful of the pasta water (it contains starch, which is important).
- Drain the pasta when al dente.
- Mix it with pesto and add a spoonful of the pasta water.
- Add some peppercorn (I have a jar filled with black peppercorns I marinated for 1 month in white vinegar).
- Mix it all and serve.
Enjoy the mint and almond pesto recipe! An alternative to basil and mint pesto, a sweet mint pesto recipe, or mint and almond pesto to make a basil mint pesto pasta without the basil!