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Linguine with Pistachio Mint Pesto and Tuna

SERVES 4-6

Ingredients

1 ½ cups shelled natural pistachio nuts

1 large clove garlic

¼ teaspoon hot red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

Extra virgin olive oil

1 ½ cups packed fresh mint leaves plus extra leaves for garnish

Two 7 ounce jar of Calipo brand Tuna in Olive Oil, drained and chunked

1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half

3 tablespoons capers in salt, well rinsed

Coarse ground black pepper

1 pound linguinE

Directions

Toast the nuts in a dry non- stick skillet over medium heat until they are fragrant. Transfer one cup of the nuts to a food processor along with the garlic, pepper flakes and salt. Reserve the remaining nuts.

Pulse the mixture until it is somewhat smooth but still a little  chunky. Add the mint leaves.

With the motor running add ½ cup of olive oil and process until the mixture is a thick sauce consistency. Add oil as needed. Transfer to a bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

 Cook the linguine in 4 quarts of rapidly boiling salted water until the pasta is al dente. Scoop out 1/3 cup of the cooking water with a  ladle and add it to the bowl with the pesto and smooth the sauce.

 Combine the linguine with the sauce, tossing well. Add the tomatoes, capers and a good grinding of black pepper. Transfer to a platter. Sprinkle the remaining nuts over the top and garnish with the mint leaves.

 

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