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Pasta with Cilantro-Peanut Pesto


Cilantro can be polarizing, but many cooks around the world rely on it for the fresh, citrusy element it adds to an array of dishes -- like this pasta dish with Southeast Asian flair.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

Source: Everyday Food, June 2012


  • 1 bunch cilantro, 1/4 cup leaves reserved for serving
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 3/4-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lime zest plus 2 tablespoons juice
  • 1 teaspoon light-brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup roasted peanuts, divided
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3/4 pound spaghetti or linguine, cooked according to package instructions


  1. In a food processor, combine cilantro, garlic, ginger, vegetable and sesame oils, red-pepper flakes, lime zest and juice, brown sugar, and 1/4 cup peanuts. Pulse until a coarse paste forms. Season with soy sauce and pulse to combine.

  2. In a large bowl, toss pesto with pasta. Roughly chop remaining peanuts and sprinkle over pasta along with cilantro leaves.

Cook's Notes

Don't waste cilantro stems; they're tender, fragrant, and edible, so you can use the entire bunch.

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