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Mama’s Kitchen: Mint and Pine Nut Pesto with Gemelli and Asparagus

Last year I told you about my favorite cooking magazine, Fine Cooking. I have loved every recipe I have tried from that magazine and website. I have a subscription, but they also have special editions that focus on certain topics. So far, I’ve bought the special issues on Grilling, Party Food, Soups & Sandwiches, Real Italian, Chicken, Weeknight Dinner, Fresh & Quick and Breakfast. I haven’t been able to get to most of them but I try to sample new recipes every week. The Grilling and Weeknight Dinner issues have gotten the most use but I can’t wait to make my way through the other issues. Also, if I am just searching for a really good recipe for something particular, then I just hit up and do a search.

One of my favorite recipes from Fine Cooking: Weeknight Dinners is Mint and Pine Nut Pesto with Gemelli and Asparagus. The Husband and I love it and I’ve already made it a few times. And, since it was in the Weeknight Dinners issue, it’s very quick and easy to make.
Mint and Pine Nut Pesto with Gemelli and Asparagus
Serves four to six.

For the pesto
6 scallions (dark and light green parts only), trimmed and thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/3 cup firmly packed fresh mint, chopped
5 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, more as needed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the pasta
1 lb. gemelli
3/4 lb. asparagus, ends snapped off, cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice, more to taste
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Make the pesto

Put the scallions, Parmigiano, pine nuts, and mint in a food processor and process until finely chopped. With the processor on, pour the oil down the feed tube in a steady stream, so the mixture thins into a slightly loose paste. Add more oil if needed. Add 1/2 tsp. salt and 3/4 tsp. pepper and pulse once more.
Make the pasta

Bring a large (6-quart) pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until nearly tender, about 2 minutes less than the package timing. Add the asparagus and cook with the pasta until both are tender, about 2 minutes more. Drain well and toss with the pesto and lemon juice. Add more lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste. Serve sprinkled with black pepper and the Parmigiano.

Buon Appetito!

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2 Responses to “Mama’s Kitchen: Mint and Pine Nut Pesto with Gemelli and Asparagus”

  1. artiffact artiffact says:

    Yum…excited for a recipe with mint. It grows everywhere and I’ve never thought about using it for a pesto.

  2. Gabriella GDK says:

    I love mint! Especially in the summer with lemon on chicken or fish :)


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