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Mama’s Kitchen: Cavatappi with Cilantro-Pistachio Pesto

pasta with cilantro pistachio pesto
One of my favorite things is receiving the new issue of Fine Cooking Magazine in the mail.  It’s one of the few sources that I totally trust when it comes to recipes because I have yet to try something that I don’t like (hope I didn’t just jinx myself).  Last night I tried a new pasta recipe called Cavatappi with Cilantro-Pistachio Pesto and I loved it. Don’t be afraid of making a non-basil pesto – this dish is easy and delicious.  A great quick option for a week night, just pair it with a salad and voilà, dinner is ready.

Recipe reprinted from Fine Cooking Magazine:

Kosher salt
1/2 large head cauliflower, cut into small (1/2- to 3/4 -inch) florets (about 6 cups)
3 medium carrots, halved lengthwise and then cut on the diagonal 1/2 inch thick
7 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup unsalted shelled pistachios
3 medium cloves garlic, peeled
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
3/4 lb. cavatappi
Freshly ground black pepper
2 large scallions, thinly sliced

Boil the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain well and return the pasta to the pot. Toss the warm pasta with the roasted vegetables and pesto. Season to taste with salt and pepper and transfer to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with the scallions and serve.

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 475°F. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat.

Put the cauliflower and carrots on a heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 2‚ Tbs. of the olive oil and 1/2 tsp. salt and toss to coat. Roast for 10 minutes, stir, and continue roasting until tender and golden in spots, about 10 minutes more.

Meanwhile, pulse the cilantro, pistachios, and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. With the machine running, add the remaining 5 Tbs. oil and purée until the sauce is very smooth. Add the lemon juice and 3/4 tsp. salt and pulse to mix.

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