Quick Pasta Recipe with Parsley-Mint Pesto
In this quick pasta recipe with Parsley-Mint Pesto, the pasta is cooked in a way counter-intuitive to everything you have been taught. There is no need to wait for a huge pot of water to boil, and no need to add a ton of salt to the water. Skeptical? I was too.
Cook Pasta Even Faster
I did some research and read an article on Serious Eats and decided to give it a go. And it worked. Try it below with half the amount of water and half the time to make it, then tell me what you think.
Sourcing High-Quality Pasta
When I’m not making my own pasta, I use pasta from Leah Ferrazzani’s Semolina Artisanal Pasta. Leah set out to prove in 2014 that great pasta doesn’t have to be imported from Italy. Started as a home-based business, Leah uses organic wheat that is U.S. grown. Her pasta is slow-dried, which preserves the natural flavor of the wheat. This brings me to another point. Leah’s pastas have flavor, which is what I love about them. I like to keep the recipes simple, to showcase the flavor that we’ve come to assume plain pasta does not have.
Pesto is typically made with basil, but I like switching this up. I love using parsley and mint, which are available year round, inexpensive, and really good for you. I prefer Italian parsley to its curly counterpart, and try to always be sure to have some on hand.
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1½ cups Italian Parsley leaves
- ½ cup fresh spearmint (garden mint) leaves
- Pinch salt
- ¼ cup walnut halves
- ⅓ cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese, or to taste
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- 4-5 grinds freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 pound Semolina Artisanal Pasta, a short variety, not a long variety such as spaghetti (I used Conchiglie)
- ½ teaspoon salt
Get out a large cutting board. Finely chop together the garlic, parsley, mint, pinch salt, walnuts, and cheese. Scrape into a large serving bowl and mix with oil.
To cook pasta, put uncooked pasta in a pot and cover with cold water by 1-2”. Add ½ teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Turn to a simmer, cover, and cook 2-3 minutes less than package instructions. Drain well, and mix with pesto in serving bowl.