Pasta with Lamb and Mint Pesto
As we get closer to our wedding next month my fiancée and I find ourselves spending less time at home and, as a result, spending less time cooking. Fortunately for you dear reader I had a flurry of spring cooking a few weeks ago to help bridge this gap. I love to cook hearty winter meals, but as spring turns to summer here it really isn’t practical (or appealing) to heat an already 80 degree apartment for hours cooking beef stew.
So come April I am always on the prowl for spring dishes that can be served warm but aren’t as heavy as what we’ve been eating the past few months. Basil pesto has always been one of my favorite things to put on pasta and this mint pesto was a nice twist on that. It’s also nice that it tastes just as wonderful whether warm, room temperature, or cool, so you can eat it however you prefer given the weather in your area.
This was the first time that I’ve made a dish with mint. My fiancée has made several meals before that utilize the tasty lamb/mint combination but I had never taken the lead on making something with it. As you might expect it was a very simple meal to make since all you have to do is blend the pesto ingredients and cook the lamb and pasta.
When I was younger I found mint to be a really strong flavor but in the past few years it has grown on me. It certainly doesn’t dominate this pasta but instead compliments everything else very well. The spinach in the pesto does a good job of balancing out the other tastes. With the leftover mint I made two batches of mint chocolate chip cookies (post soon) which similarly had a subtle but not overwhelming mint flavor.
Despite having a cache of recipes and pictures I am going to take a brief hiatus from new posts next month when my fiancée and I get married and travel through France for three weeks. I have no idea how much computer or internet access I’ll have as we drive our way from Paris to Nice, and I don’t want to worry excessively about moderating comments and editing posts.
Because I like to keep fresh content on the site I am going to write a few things that will post during our trip, a quasi look into the Bakers & Best vault (however small it may be). I’ll briefly look back at some of my older recipes and offer a fresh perspective based on a few more years of cooking and baking. But that is not for a few more weeks, so there is still much more to look forward to as it warms up here!
- 12 ounces pasta of your choice
- 1 lb ground lamb
- 2 C packed baby spinach leaves
- ¼ C packed mint leaves
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- ½ C grated parmesan cheese
- 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- In a food processor combine the spinach and mint leaves, garlic, lemon juice, and parmesan. If your food processor has an opening in the lid, drizzle in the olive oil while it is running. If not add the olive oil in with the rest of the ingredients.
- Process until a smooth paste forms. Set aside.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil and once boiling add pasta and cook until al dente (check package instructions). When done drain and transfer to a large bowl.
- While the pasta is cooking heat a large pan over medium-high heat and add in ground lamb.
- Break up any larger pieces and cook until browned, about 10 minutes. Drain off any excess fat and place over pasta.
- Add the pesto to the lamb and pasta and mix well. Serve at any temperature. Enjoy!