Spring Pasta With Mint & Basil Pesto
April 7, 2014 § 5 Comments
Pasta, as being one of my quintessential weeknight dinner, which I cook at least once a week didn’t have a post here! How could I forget about the dish which I cook quite often. Sometimes we miss the obvious things that they don’t get enough credit in our lives. I like pasta of any kind! That is true, I love it to my heart’s content. It could be related to the high carb it has to offer. And being a true north Indian, I thrive on carbs.
I know you must be thinking, “Is devouring on carbs really something to brag about?” But the fact is, there hasn’t been one single day in my life when I haven’t eaten flour in one form or another. Then why not to give it’s due importance to the subject? Even for the last minute dinner parties, pasta seems to be the most reliable and stand-by option for which I don’t have to do any kind of prepping/grocery shopping. I generally use to stock everything needed for it.
I gorge more on creamy cheesy alfredo sauce based pasta during winters to match the weather, while during summers, I thrive more on arabiatta or pesto sauce based varieties, which are generally lighter and induce less body heat. And I make pesto a lot from the fresh basil leaves from my little balcony basil plant.
Aromas of fresh basil leaves pounded with nuts, garlic and olive oil are so summery and light that you feel refreshing from inside out. It is so therapeutic! You can use the fresh pesto in a sandwich or throw in some pasta to make a delightful meal out of such basic ingredients. Life is as simple as that!
No fuss cooking, yet simple and fresh! As the weather is amazingly pleasant these days, not sure how long it will last for, I felt like writing about my favorite Spring pasta recipe with mint and basil pesto. This one is a no-brainer! Trust me on that, all you need is freshest and the best of ingredients and you are all sorted out! And the flavors are so packed into this one simple dish, you would want to make this quite often.
1 1/2 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
1 cup lightly packed fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup blanched pine nuts
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 tsp sea salt
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
300 gm conchiglie/orecchiette/farfalle pasta
100 gm sugar snap peas, trimmed
200 gm frozen peas
1 avocado, peeled and chopped
1/3 cup pesto
2 tbsp lemon zest
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup mint leaves
1/2 cup basil leaves
sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
finely grated Parmesan cheese
- For pesto, grind all the ingredients in a blender to make a smooth paste.
- For pasta, cook the pasta in boiling salted water for 8-10 minutes. Add the peas, snow peas and cook for another 2 minutes, until vegetables are just cooked and pasta is al dente.
- Drain and return to the pan and add pesto, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, avocado and salt and pepper and toss well to combine.
- Top with mint leaves, basil leaves and grated Parmesan cheese while serving. Serve with extra pesto on the side.