Spring flavors are arguable the best. At least they hold a close tie with fall. Who can resist pumpkin? Some of the best spring flavors come from herbs. Basil and mint are two of my personal favorites. Nothing smells better than fresh basil. They add a touch of brightness to any meal and the color is gorgeous. Pesto is an incredibly versatile sauce. It's made with whatever you like so mixing together two of my favorite herbs, basil and mint, seemed natural.
I like to average half the amount of mint for the amount of basil I used. Mint can become overpowering so it's best to start out with less and gradually add it in. I started with a few leaves and ended up with this ratio. Many pesto recipes call for pine nuts or something similar. I left them out of this recipe because we have allergies in my house. Instead, I used Pecorino Romano cheese because it has an almost nutty flavor to it that complements these herbs beautifully.
Fusilli is a great noodle to use with any pesto because the ridges grab on to it. You can use whichever noodle you have in the pantry but fusilli is my personal favorite for pesto. Spaghetti would additionally be great for pesto or farfalle. This is delicious cold or warm the following day for lunch.
Basil Mint Pesto
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano
4 large bundles of basil (4-6 oz)
2-3 oz. mint (1:2 ratio to basil)
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1 lb. Fusilli
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions.
2. While the pasta cooks, add garlic clove, cheese, basil and mint to a food processor. Blend slowly adding in the olive oil until it's reached your desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.
3. Drain pasta. Add the pesto to a large bowl. Pour pasta on top of the pesto and mix well. Serve with a sprinkle of extra cheese.
What are your favorite flavors of spring?