Pasta with Cilantro-Pecan Pesto and Grape Tomatoes
- 1 pound pasta
- 2 cups pecans
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 bunch cilantro (about 3 ounces)
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 10 ounces grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Reserve ½ cup of the pasta water, then drain pasta.
- While the pasta is cooking, pulse the pecans and garlic in a food processor until a coarse meal forms. Add the cilantro and pulse until finely chopped. With the machine running, slowly pour in the olive oil. Add the Parmesan cheese and salt and blend until smooth. Alternately, put the ingredients into a deep bowl or pot and blend with an immersion blender until smooth.
- In a large bowl, toss the cooked pasta with the tomatoes and half of the pesto. Stir in a little bit of the pasta water at a time until you reach the desired consistency. Serve immediately, or refrigerate and serve at room temperature within three days.
- You can store the extra pesto in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week, or freeze it for up to three months. Use mixed with pasta, on sandwiches, or to dress up chicken.
To make this pesto vegan, omit the Parmesan cheese and add a little more salt to taste. For a more filling pasta, add some protein. Sliced grilled chicken, flaky broiled salmon or quickly sautéed shrimp would all be delicious. Stir in a little more pesto to coat.
What others are saying
Kaylee Adams says:
Added some large sautéed shrimp to this pasta and extra pesto too. I've been on a shrimp kick lately and it paired perfectly with this dish. Penne pasta worked well, I couldn't find the one pictured in this image.
Anthony Cohen says:
The cilantro pecan pesto was really different, but I liked it. I tossed in some grilled chicken, which made a good, hearty dinner.
Monica Allen says:
I made a vegan pesto just for fun, not bad! I coated it really good in the sauce, and I am really pleased with the way it turned out.
chef chris says:
this is so good. I would make this again. pretty simple to whip up.
Shannon Whittier says:
I made this with spaghetti squash and my husband LOVED it. Very delicious and healthy. I also used red pepper instead of tomatoes and added a jalepenjo for a little kick.