"This is an improvisation on basil pesto," says Waters. "I call it La Finca, because I made it on a farm in Puerto Rico where there was lots mint and no basil or parmesan."
- ½ cup almond kernels
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 small tomato, peeled, seeded, diced
- 3 cups mint leaves, finely chopped
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
- 400 gm dried pasta, cooked in well-salted boiling water until al dente
- 1Blanch almonds for 20 seconds in boiling water. Drain, cool, then slip off the skins.
- 2Pound garlic with a pinch of salt to a paste using a mortar and pestle. Add almonds a handful at a time, pounding all the while. Add tomato and pound into the almonds. Transfer nut mixture to a bowl.
- 3Pound mint to a paste using the mortar and pestle with a generous pinch of salt. Add almond mixture and pound with mint. Gradually add oil, pounding continuously and adjust seasoning as needed.
- 4To serve, toss sauce with cooked pasta of your choice and a few tablespoons pasta cooking water. Finish with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.
Note This recipe is from The Art of Simple Food II ($40, hbk) by Alice Waters, published by Clarkson Potter and reproduced with GT style changes.
Drink Suggestion: Crisp, fresh vermentino. Drink suggestion by Max Allen