The first time I ever cooked a pasta dish and used mint, it was completely by accident. I had my nephew in the kitchen with me, so he was my little sous chef chopping and dicing while I was at the stove. He was so enthusiastic, just grabbing green things out of the vegetable drawer and cutting them up. By the time our hard work was ready to eat, the recipe called for a last minute scattering of basil leaves over the pasta, so Hank wildly tossed in his prepared herbs like a pro. Once we discovered the blunder, it was too late, but you know what? I was surprised at how bright and tasty the mint was. Slightly different than basil, which is pretty standard in all Italian fare, I soon learned that mint can be used interchangeably in place of basil without your meal tasting like toothpaste or candy. Really! And mint grows like crazy almost anywhere it’s planted, so chances are you’re never very far from a neighbor’s mint plant so you’ll always have some on hand.
Also, feel free to use canned white beans in this recipe, or you can cook them yourself with a clove of garlic and a bayleaf if you have the time. Cooking beans takes a couple hours, but they’re largely easy hours, with little attention required other than to make sure there’s enough water in the pot. And there are so many gorgeous heirloom beans to choose from these days, with new “old” varieties of beans being revived and grown by small farmers, each one with their own unique taste. Mashed by hand into a spreadable paste, the beans go beautifully with the earthy, smoky prosciutto and fresh herbs.
Try my mistake tonight and pick a little bit of mint for this wonderful flatbread pizza!
-Amy at Flatout