A simple, fresh-from-the-garden pasta like this pepita-mint pesto pasta with tomatoes is the perfect way to ease into a workweek in my opinion. Sometimes its hard enough just to get your brain moving in the right direction after a gorgeous summer weekend. Why not plan a meal that will take less than 30 minutes to prepare and spare yourself any unnecessary kitchen headaches? I know lots of people like to do meatless Mondays, and this pasta fits that bill as well. Perhaps our Monday motto should be “Keep it simple Monday.” I’m beginning to like the sound of that.
All these herbs (and tomatoes!) came straight from my backyard garden. I’m so stoked to finally be harvesting some edibles! I’ve been impatiently waiting all summer but I’m finally able to start eating what I’m growing. Its a great feeling. Traditionally, pesto is made with basil and pine nuts, but I had pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and mint on hand so I used those instead. The original Cooking Light version of this recipe called for pistachios which goes to show you that any nut/herb combination would work just fine.
- ⅓ cup fresh mint leaves
- ⅓ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
- ⅓ cup fresh basil leaves
- ¼ cup plus 4 teaspoons unsalted, dry-roasted pepitas, divided
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ⅝ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large garlic clove
- 1 (8-ounce) package dried linguine pasta
- 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 ounce fresh parmesan cheese , shaved (about ¼ cup)
- Combine mint leaves, parsley leaves, basil leaves, ¼ cup pepitas, olive oil, kosher salt, ground black pepper, and garlic in a mini food processor; pulse mixture until coarsely chopped.
- Cook linguine according to the package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain linguine over a bowl, reserving ¼ cup of the cooking liquid. Combine pesto mixture and reserved cooking liquid in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add pasta to bowl; toss well to coat. Gently fold in cherry tomatoes. Coarsely chop remaining 4 teaspoons pepitas. Top pasta evenly with parmesan cheese and chopped pepitas.