Tagliatelle with Lamb’s Lettuce, Walnut and Mint Pesto

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Use that carton of lamb’s lettuce that you buy in the supermarket and forget about by turning it into pesto! Adapt this recipe easily using baby spinach or rocket leaves instead of the lettuce and basil instead of the mint. We’ve used walnuts because we had them but you can try cashew nuts, pine nuts or almonds!


400g tagliatelle (fresh or dried)

For the Lamb’s Lettuce and Mint Pesto

70g fresh Parmesan, cut into small chunks
10 walnuts
2 cloves of garlic (no need to peel them)
100g lamb’s lettuce (that’s one plastic carton)
5-10 mint leaves (use 5, then add more if you want it to taste ‘mintier’)
200ml olive oil
Pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Boil the tagliatelle in lots of well-salted water according to the instructions on the pack (fresh pasta takes less time than dried pasta).

2. Place the Parmesan in a food processor or bullet blender and blitz until it is the consistency of small breadcrumbs. Add the walnuts and garlic and blitz. Add the lamb’s lettuce and mint leaves and blitz. Add half the olive oil and blitz again, adding more olive oil to get it the consistency you like. We like it smooth but you may like a chunkier pesto. Use as much olive oil as you need. Add a pinch of salt and a good few grindings of black pepper to taste and blitz again. Spoon the pesto into a bowl or clean glass jam jar (this makes about enough to fill one empty Bonne Maman jam jar). You’ll only need a few tablespoons of pesto for this recipe – just enough to coat the cooked pasta – then pour a little more olive oil on top of the pesto to seal it and cover it with cling film. Store in the fridge.

3. When the pasta is ready, drain it reserving a few spoons of the starchy cooking water. Toss with a few spoons of the pesto adding just enough of the pasta water to make a sauce. Serve immediately.

Use rocket leaves or baby spinach instead of the lamb’s lettuce (also called maché leaves). Use basil instead of mint.

Photographs copyright foodpixies.com


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