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Pasta with Cilantro Jalapeño Pesto, Fresh Corn & Tomatoes

Pasta with Cilantro Jalapeño Pesto, Fresh Corn & Tomatoes

Pasta with Cilantro Jalapeño Pesto, Fresh Corn & Tomatoes
Chris went to Austin for a business trip this week and business trips are my chance to be lazy in the kitchen because when I’m just cooking for myself, I don’t have to impress anyone. So the past few days have been a lot of “Oh hey, I’m just going to eat this salad out of a mixing bowl while watching Rock of Love on Hulu.” (I did close the blinds first so the neighbors wouldn’t be able to see. I wanted to preserve that last shred of dignity I have left. The last shred of dignity is the most precious.) Or “You know what would be good for lunch? A handful of raisins and a pickle!” Even when you love to cook, sometimes you just don’t feel like cooking.

Cilantro Jalapeño Pesto Ingredients
Because raisins with a side of pickles aren’t exactly a well-balanced meal, I try to keep things on hand for all those don’t-feel-like-cooking days. And one of the things I keep on hand is pesto–I keep my freezer fully stocked at all times with different kinds of pestos. This cilantro jalapeño pesto is one of my favorites. It’s a slightly tweaked version of the pesto in my Mushroom & Zucchini Quesadillas. If you love cilantro, you will love this pesto! It has a fresh, bright flavor and, like most pestos, it’s super easy to make.

Casarecci Pasta
I also keep a lot of pasta on hand! Because pasta + pesto + whatever veggies you happen to have on hand = an easy dinner. Casarecci is my new favorite pasta shape. It’s supposed to be best for meat sauces, but I really like it with pesto. It’s got enough little nooks for the pesto to stick to it, but not so many nooks that the pesto doesn’t distribute evenly. (I spend a lot of time thinking about these things!) Of course, any pasta you have will be just fine.

This is my favorite kind of vegetarian cooking. Kitchen staples combined with fresh produce to make an (almost) effortless meal.

This post was originally published July 18, 2013.

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Pasta with Cilantro Jalapeño Pesto, Fresh Corn & Tomatoes

Pasta with Cilantro Jalapeño Pesto, Fresh Corn & Tomatoes

Pasta, fresh corn, and grape tomatoes tossed with homemade Cilantro Jalapeño Pesto.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

Cilantro Jalapeño Pesto

  • 1 c. loosely packed cilantro leaves
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and quartered
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 c. raw almonds
  • 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • Salt + pepper to taste

Pasta with Cilantro Jalapeño Pesto, Fresh Corn & Tomatoes

  • 8 oz. pasta
  • 2 ears corn, husked (be sure to remove all of the silk)
  • 1 c. halved grape tomatoes
  • 1 batch Cilantro Jalapeño Pesto

Instructions

Cilantro Jalapeño Pesto

  1. Combine cilantro, jalapeño, garlic, almonds, olive oil, and lime juice in food processor. Process until smooth and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Pasta with Cilantro Jalapeño Pesto, Fresh Corn & Tomatoes

  1. Cook the pasta in a large pot or Dutch oven according to package instructions. Two minutes before the pasta is done, drop the corn into the pot. When the pasta is finished cooking, use tongs to remove the corn and set aside. Drain the pasta well and transfer it to a large bowl, then rinse the corn in cold water until it’s cool enough to handle.
  2. Use a knife or corn zipper to remove the kernels from the cob. Toss the pasta, corn, and tomatoes with the Cilantro Jalapeño Pesto and serve.

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88 Comments

  • Reply
    Anele @ Success Along the Weigh
    July 18, 2013 at 9:30 am

    Oh my goodness, this looks AWESOME! I’ve got a boatload of basil that needs to be used that I’ll probably use since my cilantro has long since bit it in this heat.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 21, 2013 at 8:33 pm

      Yeah, my cilantro is brown and crispy right now. Sigh.

  • Reply
    Martina
    July 18, 2013 at 9:38 am

    Pesto pasta is my go to food on an “I’m not cooking tonight” night. I love making pesto and I have a ton of basil in my garden, but I always end up with a too much (even for me!) I didn’t even realise you could freeze it!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 21, 2013 at 8:32 pm

      Yes, it freezes so so well! 😀 I learned that because I have been in the same situation–every fall, I pull out my basil plants to make pesto and I have way more than we can eat before it goes bad.

  • Reply
    Christine @ Gotta Eat Green
    July 18, 2013 at 9:38 am

    Mmm looks so good! I’ve never used Casarecci pasta before, but like you, I like the little nooks for the sauce. Picking pasta is a very important part of my grocery shopping.. 😉

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 21, 2013 at 8:31 pm

      I have spent way more time than anyone should contemplating which pasta to buy at the grocery store.

  • Reply
    Shannon @ moveeatcreate.com
    July 18, 2013 at 10:03 am

    I’m crazy about the idea of this pesto. And with cilantro and corn coming in abundance in my CSA boxes right now, I think this is perfect!

  • Reply
    dixya| food, pleasure, and health
    July 18, 2013 at 10:04 am

    this is my kind of meals 🙂 you just inspired me to make a bucketful of pesto and use it often 🙂

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 21, 2013 at 8:26 pm

      You should! It’s so nice to have on hand. 🙂

  • Reply
    Abby @ The Frosted Vegan
    July 18, 2013 at 10:35 am

    Um yeah, so I’m glad I’m not the only one who does this when my boy is out of town. Mine is usually a Real Housewives of somewhere marathon and french fries. Also, yes to this pasta!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 21, 2013 at 8:26 pm

      Oh yes, I watched a lot of Real Housewives too!

  • Reply
    Tieghan
    July 18, 2013 at 11:06 am

    Jalopeno cilantro pesto! That sounds incredible! Suck a pretty dish!

  • Reply
    Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl
    July 18, 2013 at 11:23 am

    Jalapeno pesto sounds awesome! I love when foods have a bit of a spicy kick to them!

  • Reply
    Caitlin
    July 18, 2013 at 11:34 am

    cilantro jalepeno pesto sounds AMAZING! and, i’m with you on not wanting to cook sometimes, especially lately. especially on saturday night. i literally have a force myself off the couch, and i always say “UGH!” i really wish dayv knew how to cook dinner sometimes.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 21, 2013 at 8:25 pm

      We stopped planning dinners on Saturday night. Not only do neither of us want to cook, neither of us are hungry either.

  • Reply
    ashley - Baker by Nature
    July 18, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    Oh lady, this is just gorgeous! All of my favorite things in one dish!!! That makes me quite happy 🙂 xo

  • Reply
    Reba - Not So Perfect Life
    July 18, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    YUMM… I know what you mean about weeks when your alone at home. My meals can get embarrassing. When I was a single gal steamed veggies and toast was my go to meal 🙂

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 21, 2013 at 8:23 pm

      You could definitely do worse than steamed veggies! 🙂

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    July 18, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    Loving this little kick of heat in this summer time pasta!

  • Reply
    Caitlin
    July 18, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    Always game for a new pesto recipe!

    Pasta is one of those items that I purchase never sure how much I have at home, so I currently have like 4 packages of unopened pasta in my cabinet ’cause I keep buying it (same goes for lentils).

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 21, 2013 at 8:22 pm

      We practically have a pasta SHELF in our pantry. I totally hoard it too.

  • Reply
    Joy //For the Love of Leaves
    July 18, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    You had me at cilantro jalapeño pesto. I want some right now.

  • Reply
    Suzanne @ hello, veggy!!
    July 18, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    That pasta is so funny looking! It always blows my mind how many shapes there are; my favourite are bowties 🙂

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 21, 2013 at 8:21 pm

      I used to always buy rotini and nothing else, but I’m trying to branch out. I still have a soft spot for rotini though. 🙂

  • Reply
    Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch
    July 18, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    pasta, cinlantro, jalapeno, and pesto? amazing flavors – amazing dish!!!

  • Reply
    Twingle Mommy
    July 18, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    That looks so good! I love pesto, but my husband doesn’t like basil so he’s not a big fan of it. I think he would really like this.

    I have a question for you. In Vegas, I could keep cilantro for a week or two before it went yucky on me. But here it turns brown and watery after a few days. Am I just having bad luck or is that normal in NC? Thanks!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 21, 2013 at 8:20 pm

      Well, with the difference in humidity between Vegas and NC, I could definitely see that happening! I don’t think I’ve ever had cilantro last more than 5 days or so, but I thought that was normal. It does seem to last longer if you have one of those herb saver dealies where you put the stems in water and stand the cilantro upright in the fridge.

  • Reply
    [email protected]'s Recipes
    July 18, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    I love all different kinds of pesto. The pasta looks ever so delicious with cilantro jalapeño pesto.

  • Reply
    Alissa N
    July 18, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    Wooooooooow this looks amazing!! I love easy dinners like this!! And corn+jalapenos+pasta is one of the most delicious combos ever invented. When my hubby is away its pickles and grilled cheese and chocolate cookies all the way (I often rationalize that if no one sees me eating only cheese and chocolate, then it never happened). He was alone a bunch over the last couple of weeks when I was out or away, and he ate a whole jar of pickles. Why are pickles the perfect lazy food!?

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 21, 2013 at 8:17 pm

      I love pickles. Freaking love them. A pickle slice is only 5 calories! Also, I have low blood pressure, so all that delicious saltiness is good for me. Chocolate and cheese are two foods I am constantly craving too, but maybe not together. 😉

  • Reply
    Anna {Herbivore Triathlete}
    July 18, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    Ooh, yummy! This looks like an awesome dish. I never knew you could freeze pesto, I will have to try it. That pasta looks fun, I love trying new shapes of pasta!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 21, 2013 at 8:15 pm

      Pesto freezes SO well. You can freeze it in ice cube trays or in a freezer bag–you can lay it flat and press all the air out, then thaw it in the fridge the day before you’re going to use it. 🙂

  • Reply
    cassie
    July 18, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    I totally relate! My husband is out of town this week and next and I can’t deny having popcorn for dinner at least twice already. And this – this is my kind of meal. I love it Kiersten!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 21, 2013 at 8:14 pm

      Yeah, I had a mug cake for dinner one night. So shameful. 🙂

  • Reply
    Erika
    July 18, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    Oooh, just gorgeous. I know exactly what you mean about loving to cook but not feeling like wanting to cook all the time. (That was a lot of weird -ing grammar.) Anyhoo. I totally feel that. I feel like cooking is slightly less gratifying when you don’t have anyone to cook for, perhaps? The other night dinner would have been a cottage cheese pancake with a side of frozen grapes had my boyfriend not made me a breakfast taco 🙂 Incidentally, it was inspired by an Austin-based taco place (Torchy’s).

    OMG speaking of Austin–tell your hubby to bring you back a doughnut from Gourdough’s! AHHHH I’M HEADED TO AUSTIN IN A WEEK AND I AM SO EXCITED. I’m going to doughnut. It. Up.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 21, 2013 at 8:12 pm

      Yes, I think that’s exactly it–it is definitely less gratifying when you’re cooking for yourself! I hope you have an awesome time in Austin! I’m totally going to tag along next time my husband has to go there. 😀

  • Reply
    virginia moreno
    July 18, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    i just made this dish for lunch! it is delish! thank you for sharing!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 21, 2013 at 8:09 pm

      Thanks for your comment–I’m glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

  • Reply
    Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    July 18, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    I love cilantro so what a fabulous pesto! This pasta looks so summery and delicious!

  • Reply
    honeywhatscooking
    July 18, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    wow kiersten, looks so delicious and fresh. love the addition of cilantro in this dish…

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