High Flavor, Low Labor ($24, amazon.com), the new book by J.M. Hirsch, is reinventing weeknight cooking. We'll be making Linguine with Cilantro and Pepita Pesto from September 16-19. Invite your friends over, take pics of your dish and post 'em here. Or visit our blog and see which editors are cooking!
Linguine with Cilantro and Pepita Pesto
Pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds) usually can be found alongside the nuts and dried fruit. Many roasted varieties are heavily salted, so be sure to adjust your seasonings accordingly. Nearly any nut and herb can be wedded as pesto -- walnuts and parsley, peanuts and basil, almonds and a blend of sage, mint, and parsley. Also experiment with the acid, traditionally lemon juice. Lime or orange juice, as well as just about any vinegar, will work well.
Serves 4 | Prep + Cook Time: 20 min
12 ounces linguine
4 ounces manchego cheese, cut into small chunks, plus extra for garnish
1⁄2 cup roasted pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
1 cup packed fresh cilantro, thick stems removed
1⁄2 tablespoon jarred jalapeño pepper slices
2 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lime juice
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta and return it to the pot.
Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the manchego and pepitas. Pulse until finely ground. Add the cilantro, jalapeño peppers, garlic, oil, and lime juice. Process until the mixture forms fine, moist crumbs. Taste, then season with salt and pepper.
Add the pesto and the reserved cooking water to the pasta and toss well to coat and heat the pesto. Serve topped with additional manchego.