Substitute mint for basil in this refreshing pesto pasta recipe.
8 oz whole-grain fettuccine
1 cup loosely packed fresh mint (leaves and tender stems)
1 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley (leaves and tender stems)
1/4 cup unsalted walnuts, toasted and chopped
1/4 cup chopped shallots
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
8 dried figs, stemmed and chopped (TIP: If fresh figs are available, substitute 12 of them, tossing them in gently at the very end before sprinkling with feta.)
2 to 3 oz feta cheese, or to taste, crumbled
Cook fettuccine al dente according to package directions. Before draining, ladle approximately 1 cup cooking water into a heat-proof glass or bowl.
Drain pasta and set aside.
Prepare pesto: In a blender or food processor, combine mint, parsley, walnuts, shallots, salt and pepper. Pulse several times to roughly chop. With blender or processor running, pour in oil in a slow stream. Scrape down the sides. With blender or processor running, pour in 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp reserved pasta cooking water. Blend until consistency is even but still slightly chunky.
Return pasta to pot.
Add pesto and figs.
Place pot on low heat and stir gently to coat.
While stirring, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup reserved pasta water to moisten noodles. (NOTE: Look for a moist, but not wet consistency.)
Divide among serving bowls and sprinkle evenly with cheese.
Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups of fettuccine with mint pesto
Walnut pesto with pungent ginger and fragrant fresh basil is the hero that brings this dish together. Walnuts have the highest concentration of antioxidants among nuts, while also containing essential fatty acids, so keep them on hand and snack on them often! In this dish, spaghetti squash is a carotenoid-rich stand-in for pasta, while protein-packed shrimp is among the seafood picks with the least amount of mercury.
Salad greens and zucchini noodles are tossed with a creamy, nutty and protein-rich pesto. Pistachios stand in for pine nuts (which are typically used to make pesto) and contain less fat, while creamy avocado adds a rich, velvety texture.
Melded with one pound of whole-wheat linguine, our pesto recipe provides a filling meal without the fat of traditional, heavier pestos. The vibrant green translates into ample chlorophyll, which helps trigger hemoglobin and red blood cell production.