Mache Pesto Pasta Recipe


Fresh pesto is delicious, easy, and bursting with flavor. It’s also incredibly versatile in that you can use many different types of greens to modify the flavor. Today I was so happy my experiment with turning French mâche into delicious Pesto proved to be delightful and nutritious.

To make the pesto, I paired the mâche lettuce (pronounced [mosh]) with champagne pear vinegar because both are so delicate and flavorful. I kept the dish very simple; I tossed pasta with garlic and a little cream. Once the pasta was well coated, I added the mâche pesto and finished the dish with lemon zest and colorful peppercorns.

The flavor combination was inspired by store-bought lemon pepper-flavored pappardelle pasta. I repeated the same flavors using lemons, green, pink and black peppercorns and a touch of champagne pear vinegar (doesn’t that sound luxurious?) that I recently received from our friend Jacilyn from Bellindora.

1. Info for Mache Pesto Pasta Recipe

  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 35 mins
  • Servings: 6
  • Calories: 411 Kcal

2. Ingredients for Mache Pesto Pasta Recipe

  • 2 (8-ounce) packages pappardelle pasta (see tips)
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 1 clove fresh garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons Champagne pear vinegar
  • ½ cup olive oil, as needed
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup heavy cream (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1-½ tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup herb-flavored goat cheese, at room temperature
  • 1-½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pink, green and black peppercorn medley, freshly cracked

3. Directions:

  1. For the mâche: Wash the mâche.  Quickly blanch it for about 5-10 seconds in boiling salted water and transfer to an ice bath, to maintain a bright green color. Drain thoroughly of all water and pat dry on paper towels. Coarsely chop.
  2. For the mâche pesto: In a blender (or a mini-food prep if you have one), combine the mâche, lemon zest, 1 clove of garlic, Champagne pear vinegar, Parmesan cheese and extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. You might want to add about 2 tablespoons (or more) of water for a smooth flow. Set aside.
  3. For the parppadelle pasta: In a pot, add about 6 quarts of water and bring to a boil. Add the pasta, bring back to a boil, then immediately lower the heat to a gentle boil. That way the pasta will cook all the way through evenly. Cook the pasta for about 12 minutes total. Salt the water half-way through the cooking process and keep stirring every now and then so the pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom. It may take longer than the cooking time that’s written on the package. Set aside.
  4. In a large non-stick sauté pan, heat a little olive oil. Add the shallots and cook until fragrant. With a slotted spoon, drain the pasta (reserve some of the pasta water) and transfer to the pan. Using tongs, toss the pasta for about 3-4 minutes with lemon juice. Season with salt and the cracked peppercorns. Finish with heavy cream (if used) or pasta water (for a healthier version).
  5. If the pasta starts sticking to the bottom, add more pasta water. Toss well for another 2 minutes. Turn off the heat. Add the mâche pesto. Toss well until nicely coated. Adjust seasoning.
  6. Garnish with diced goat cheese, more peppercorns and lemon zest.
  7. Serve immediately.
  8. Bon appétit!

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