We love this dish with pistachios, but for a less expensive alternative, try walnuts. Save the smallest mint leaves for a pretty, delicate garnish.
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/4 cup plus 4 teaspoons unsalted, shelled dry-roasted pistachios, divided
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
5/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 large garlic clove
1 (9-ounce) package refrigerated fettuccine
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 ounce fresh pecorino Romano cheese, shaved (about 1/4 cup)
How to Make It
Combine mint leaves, parsley leaves, 1/4 cup pistachios, olive oil, kosher salt, ground black pepper, and garlic in a mini food processor; pulse mixture until coarsely chopped.
Cook fettuccine according to the package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain fettuccine over a bowl, reserving 1/4 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 pistachios. Top pasta evenly with pecorino Romano cheese and chopped pistachios.
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This was interesting and different. I might squeeze a couple of drops of lemon in the pesto next time. The meal was split 3 ways and was just enough. I didn't bother with the chopped nuts on top. I'd make it again.DD suggested adding some tomato sauce to the pesto to change it up a bit too.
Very good and pretty quick to make last minute. I added grilled chicken which I cut up into chunks and tossed in at the end. You can easily make the pesto ahead to make it really quick.
A good dinner to make camping. Just make the pesto at home and store in a container and keep in the cooler.