Linguine pasta with mint pesto and ricotta cream.

Linguine pasta with mint pesto and ricotta cream.

This fresh and creamy contemporary linguine pasta with mint pesto recipe is perfect for summer days when mint is in season and heavy meals are the last thing on our minds!

Linguine pasta with mint pesto and ricotta cream

The Pasta.

Linguine is a type of pasta that is often paired with pesto in Italy. In fact, it originates from Liguria where it, or its very close pasta cousin trenette, is often eaten with basil pesto Genovese. It’s also served throughout Italy with fish or seafood sauces. However, linguine is very rarely served with meat or heavy sauces in Italy, most probably because it is actually quite light and delicate and heavy sauces would not adhere to this type of pasta well.

ingredients on white plate for linguine pasta with mint pesto and ricotta cream

The Pesto.

Pesto had become a very popular type of pasta sauce worldwide. The first pesto was the one I mentioned above from Liguria and made with fresh basil. There are a number of other traditional pesto sauces in Italy, most especially in the South.  However, nowadays Italians are making pesto with many other ingredients, including pesto made from rocket (rucola), pesto made with red peppers and pesto made from Italian chicory (radicchio) . There’s even pesto made with dandelion!

fresh mint and basil leaves in food blender

The Mint

I came across a recipe for pasta with mint pesto some time back and wanted to make it but mint wasn’t in season and, of course, it needs to be fresh! Mint is available and growing everywhere now! In fact, I have mint in my garden and there’s wild mint in the fields surrounding my house.

Fresh mint and basil leaves, pine nuts and grated Parmesan in food blender

There are many kinds of mint, so the taste of this pesto will slightly depend on the type you use. Some types are better suited to using in desserts and drinks, others are great in savoury dishes. Here in Italy many recipes call for a type of mint called ‘nepitella’ (Calamintha nepeta), lesser calamint in English. This herb has a milder taste than the other types of garden mint. However, I used what Italians call ‘menta Romana’ which is similar to spearmint.

mint pesto in white bowl

Other Ingredients.

Apart from the mint, this pesto has some fresh basil, pine nuts, grated Parmigiano and, of course, extra virgin olive oil. No garlic, however! I found many recipes for mint pesto but this was the one that appealed to me the most. My hubby thought I should have toasted the pine nuts and I might try that next time.

creamed ricotta in blue and white bowl

Some pasta with mint pesto recipes include pistachios or almonds instead of pine nuts. Others call for parsley instead of basil or no other leaf herb. I think this is a recipe you can play around with until you find your favourite combination of ingredients. And, as with other pesto sauces, you can use this pesto in other ways. I found a great recipe for potato salad with mint pesto which I’d really like to try.

linguine pasta with mint pesto in glass bowl

Surprisingly enough, the taste of mint wasn’t overpowering and the addition of a ricotta cream really gave this dish a wonderful subtle creamy flavour. Apart from being delicious this recipe requires no cooking except for the pasta and can be ready in no time!

linguine pasta with mint pesto in glass bowl

If you make this recipe I’d love to hear how it turns out and if you liked it. Please leave a comment here on the blog or on The Pasta Project Facebook page. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Buon appetito!

Want to try some other pesto sauces? Check out these recipes

  1. Busiate with radicchio pesto
  2. Radicchio and beetroot pesto
  3. Pistachio pesto from Sicily
  4. Sun dried tomato pesto
  5. Matcha pesto
  6. Rocket pesto

linguine pasta with mint pesto and ricotta cream

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If you want to save this linguine with mint pesto and ricotta cream recipe for later, you can print it, bookmark this page or save it to Pinterest.

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linguine with mint pesto and ricotta

5 from 15 votes
linguine pasta with mint pesto
Linguine with mint pesto and ricotta cream
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
12 mins
Total Time
32 mins

This fresh and tasty contemporary Italian mint pesto recipe is easy to make and perfect for summer meals

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: linguine, mint, pasta, pesto
Servings: 4
Author: Jacqueline De Bono
  • 400 g linguine (14oz) or spaghetti (I used linguine from La Molisana)
  • 1 handful fresh mint leaves
  • 1 handful fresh basil leaves
  • 50 g Parmigiano Reggiano (2oz) grated
  • 1 handful pine nuts
  • extra virgin olive oil as required
  • salt for pasta and to taste
For ricotta cream
  • 200 g fresh ricotta
  1. Put a pot of water on to boil for the pasta. Add salt once it starts to boil.

  2. Wash the basil and mint leaves and pat dry with kitchen paper or a cloth.

  3. Put the washed mint and basil, the pine nuts, the grated cheese and a pinch of salt into a blender or food processor. Add a little olive oil and pulse. Continue to add oil and pulse until you get a homogeneous sauce. 

  4. Cook the pasta al dente according to the instructions on the packet. When the pasta is half cooked put the ricotta in a bowl and cream it using a fork with a little of the pasta cooking water.

  5. When the pasta is cooked. Save a bit more of the cooking water and drain the pasta. Mix the pasta and pesto together in a bowl with some of the saved pasta cooking water.

  6. Put some creamed ricotta on the bottom of each person’s bowl (better bowls than flat plates) and place some pasta with mint pesto on top.

  7. Serve immediately decorated with a little mint and sprinkled with more grated cheese if required.

Recipe Notes

You can use spaghetti instead of linguine for this recipe, as well as other pasta types that go well with pesto such as trofie

Pin for Later.

linguine with mint pesto and ricotta

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  • Avatar
    May 23, 2020 9:49 pm

    I can just imagine the wonderful aromas and flavors of basil and mint t ogether in a pesto – wow! What a genius idea.

  • Avatar
    May 23, 2020 9:38 pm

    You got me with mint. I love it and this pasta with mint pesto is simply superb.

  • Avatar
    May 15, 2020 3:05 am

    Made this dish, it was great. Kids enjoyed it

  • Avatar
    May 14, 2020 10:20 am

    This sounds lovely. Thanks for sharing.

  • Avatar
    Anindya Sundar Basu
    May 14, 2020 5:07 am

    I love Pasta in any form and the flavours are so tempting

  • Avatar
    May 14, 2020 4:35 am

    A simple and flavorful dish. I love making this for guests.

  • Avatar
    Nart at Cooking with Nart
    May 14, 2020 3:18 am

    Looks great and sounds super easy to make! Will give this a try for sure. 🙂

  • Avatar
    LaRena Fry
    May 13, 2020 11:02 pm

    What a lovely pasta recipe. Mint and pesto is a terrific combination.

  • Avatar
    Christy Boston’s Kitchen
    May 13, 2020 8:20 pm

    Mint can pair well with savory even though most people think of mint as something that goes with sweet. It is such a wonderful herb to cook with. I just love mint pesto, I may have to try this recipe with lamb meatballs.

  • Avatar
    May 13, 2020 1:17 pm

    Love using mint in everything. I even planted it recently because I was tired of buying it all time or forgetting it when I really wanted to add it to the recipe. These linguine pasta with mint pesto and ricotta cream look so perfect! Pinned it so I can make it this week.

  • Avatar
    May 13, 2020 9:58 am

    Mint Pesto?! That sounds amazing! Never had it…but definitely gonna try it:)

  • Avatar
    Catherine Brown
    July 2, 2018 8:32 pm

    Mmmm, I love mint and basil together! This pesto looks absolutely delicious! I’ve never tried it with ricotta cheese though, so will have to give that a whirl. I bet this would be delicious on crispy roasted potatoes too!

    • admin
      July 5, 2018 9:05 am

      This pesto is awesome Catherine! Fresh and tasty and yes, I’m sure fabulous on roast potatoes! Let me know if you try it with ricotta. I’m sure you’d love it! All the best. Jacqui

  • Avatar
    Stephanie Simmons
    July 2, 2018 7:41 pm

    This looks delicious! I love the idea of ricotta in pasta

    • admin
      July 5, 2018 10:28 am

      Grazie Stephanie! This is a really delicious dish! The ricotta make it nice and creamy! Def one to try! Hugs! Jacqui

  • Avatar
    July 2, 2018 9:01 am

    I’ve never thought about making mint pesto – what a great variation. I often have extra mint to use up so I know what I’ll be doing with it now. Gorgeous recipe!

    • admin
      July 5, 2018 10:29 am

      Grazie di cuore as the Italians say Anna! Mint pesto is so delish. I’m sure you’ll love it! All the best from Verona! Jacqui

  • Avatar
    July 2, 2018 9:00 am

    Mint pesto! Yes please! This sounds so good!

    • admin
      July 5, 2018 10:30 am

      It’s fantabulous Lisa! I’m sure you’ll think the same if you try it! Kisses from Italy! Jacqui

  • Avatar
    Gingey Bites
    July 1, 2018 11:24 pm

    I love the idea of mint in the pesto, what a lovely summery dish. I will definitely give this a whirl!

    • admin
      July 5, 2018 10:31 am

      Mint in pesto is divine! I’m sure you’re going to love it! Greetings from Verona! Jacqui

  • Avatar
    Chef Mireille
    July 1, 2018 6:41 pm

    I can see myself using this mint pesto on so many things – pizza, sandwiches, salads etc -not just pasta 🙂

    • admin
      July 5, 2018 10:33 am

      You are so right Mireille! This pesto can be used with so many other foods, not just pasta! I love it in toasted sandwiches or with chicken! Hugs! Jacqui

  • Avatar
    Stine Mari
    July 1, 2018 1:51 pm

    Adding mint to pesto sounds absolutely delicious! I want to try this recipe right now

    • admin
      July 5, 2018 10:34 am

      Mint is fabulous in pesto Mari! You are going to love it! Kisses from bella Italia! Jacqui

  • Avatar
    June 28, 2018 11:33 pm

    Ohhh I never tried mint pesto before!! Must try!

    • admin
      June 29, 2018 8:10 am

      Thanks Joyce! I’m sure you’ll love it! It’s fresh but the mint flavour isn’t overpowering! Greetings from Verona! Jacqui

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