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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
    Katherine
    July 18, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    looks delicious!

  • Reply
    EA-The Spicy RD
    July 18, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    Loving this dish! I am a huge pesto fan too, and it is a staple in my kitchen along with pasta {gluten-free} of course. I so know what you mean about loving to cook, but not ALWAYS loving to cook. Those are the evenings we resort to eating cereal and fruit, or maybe some yummy scrambled eggs 🙂

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 21, 2013 at 8:02 pm

      Yeah, as soon as I’m done with recipe development for my book, I am going to relish those cereal and fruit dinners again. 🙂

  • Reply
    Robyn B | Modern Day Missus
    July 18, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    Yummo, that looks delicious and I love that the jalapeno would give it a little kick (I looooove a bit of spice in my food).

    Isn’t it great when you’re cooking for yourself and you can cook whatever you feel like!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 21, 2013 at 7:58 pm

      Luckily my husband and I have pretty similar tastes in food, but it’s nice to be lazy for a few days. 🙂

  • Reply
    Kelly @ Texas Type A Mom
    July 18, 2013 at 10:39 pm

    This looks like such an amazing recipe! I know the cilantro jalapeno pesto is delicious!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 21, 2013 at 7:57 pm

      This was the recipe I told you about last week! 😀 I have another pesto recipe to send out tomorrow too.

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    July 19, 2013 at 12:01 am

    Right up my alley! This is creative, simple and delicious…a must try! 🙂

  • Reply
    LBC
    July 19, 2013 at 8:09 am

    Just happened to have all of these ingredients at home and made this for dinner last night…. amazing! Not as spicy as I would have thought, next time I’ll add another jalapeno or two, but wonderfully easy and yummy on a 95+ degree evening!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 21, 2013 at 7:51 pm

      I’m glad you liked it! Jalapeños aren’t very spicy, so if you want to add more of a kick, you might want to try a serrano pepper. 🙂

      • Reply
        Mollie
        August 23, 2013 at 7:05 pm

        Oh my goodness, I think I must have used a serrano pepper because mine is SPIIIICAYYY! But it’s delicious – and perfect cause I love a little heat! I subbed walnuts for almonds and worked great. Can’t wait to enjoy this for dinner tonight. 🙂

        • Reply
          Kiersten
          August 24, 2013 at 3:16 pm

          Oh no! Well, I think that sometimes you can end up with especially spicy jalapeños too. I had one last summer that burned my hands really badly (they hurt for a week!) and also burned my eye because, like a moron, I rubbed my eye after burning my hand.

  • Reply
    Grace @ FoodFitnessFreshAir
    July 19, 2013 at 10:24 am

    This has such a light and summery feel. I love it. I’m a huge fan of making different kinds of pestos, and with the jalapeño, I know this would be great.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 21, 2013 at 7:40 pm

      I will make a pesto out of just about anything. 🙂 And I have too!

  • Reply
    Stephanie Person
    July 19, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    Holy cow I have to make this!! Thanks for posting 🙂 #Momdot

  • Reply
    Pam @Mommacan
    July 19, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    Oh man, that sounds so good. lol I am making mac and cheese tonight, but may toss in some chili until I can get the stuff to make this.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 21, 2013 at 7:29 pm

      Chili mac sounds good to me right now! 😀

  • Reply
    Kiran @ KiranTarun.com
    July 20, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    So fresh and summery!! Love cilantro jalapeno pesto. Oh my 🙂

  • Reply
    mjskit
    July 21, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    This salad would be perfect for dinner tonight! Love it!

  • Reply
    Brenda Williams
    July 21, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    This looks so good! Love jalapeno anything!

  • Reply
    Genevieve
    July 21, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    Pesto, tomatoes and corn sounds like the perfect easy summer meal to throw together. I wish I stocked pesto in my freezer for nights when I don’t feel like going to the grocery store and cooking from scratch, but I never seem to make big enough batches to have leftovers…I’ll have to do that this year!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 21, 2013 at 8:37 pm

      I try to keep sauces and pestos in the freezer for emergencies. They definitely come in handy!

  • Reply
    Emanuelle
    July 21, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    wow I love the twist on a pesto with Jalepeno’s!! Sounds delicious!!

  • Reply
    Shelley @ Two Healthy Kitchens
    July 22, 2013 at 8:06 am

    Kiersten, I have been daydreaming about this recipe since I saw it in my e-mail in-box a couple of days ago. I love everything about it, including your “pasta + pesto + whatever veggies you happen to have on hand = an easy dinner” mentality! That’s my kind of cooking – and beats the pants off of raisins and a pickle any day. Absolutely can’t wait to make this! Great recipe, killer photos … as always! Another winner!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 24, 2013 at 9:38 pm

      Yeah, the whole cookbook has thrown a bit of a wrench into things, but we normally have that kind of pasta + sauce + veggies at least once a week. So many people make vegetarian cooking out to be complicated and intimidating, but it doesn’t get easier than that! 🙂

  • Reply
    Norma
    July 22, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    I made this recipe for dinner last night and it was a hit! It was delicious.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 24, 2013 at 9:22 pm

      Thank you for your comment! I’m glad you liked it. 🙂

  • Reply
    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious
    July 22, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    I’m loving all of these fresh flavors!

  • Reply
    marlaa
    July 22, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    Such a beautiful pasta recipe!

  • Reply
    Ash- foodfashionparty
    July 24, 2013 at 12:41 am

    Love the pesto and your picture was so beautiful.

  • Reply
    Patricia
    July 24, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    Oooo! Love the sound of this dish! I’ve never thought of using cilantro in pesto and now I CANNOT wait to try this! Thanks!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      July 24, 2013 at 8:13 pm

      Cilantro pesto is one of my favorite kinds of pesto! You definitely need to try it. 🙂

  • Reply
    divya goyal
    August 14, 2013 at 12:31 am

    we loved ur Dish…i was looking since a long time for a recipe of pasta with cilantro in it…its very quick and delicious..

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      August 15, 2013 at 9:20 pm

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

  • Reply
    Lisa
    August 24, 2013 at 12:18 am

    I made this tonight and it was fabulous! I added a little more garlic and Parmesan cheese. Thank you!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      August 24, 2013 at 3:06 pm

      I’m glad you liked it–thanks for your comment! 🙂

  • Reply
    jill
    July 9, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    This is beyond yummy! I saw it this morning and went out to get the ingredients I didn’t already have and ……….WOW! This is a new twist on yummy!! Thank you SO much for sharing!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      July 11, 2014 at 5:22 pm

      Thank you for your comment – I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  • Reply
    Emily
    July 14, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    I love cilantro but I’ve got way too much basil to make pesto without using it! Do you think basil will stand up well to the jalapeño in this recipe if I substituted the cilantro? Or do you have a regular basil pesto recipe you can direct me to?

  • Reply
    Dani H
    August 20, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    ok, this is DELISH! My kids have already commented on how cool the pasta looks (and my box of casarecci said that it was for pesto sauces, so good choice). I’m sad I found this at the end of summer, it would have been in the rotation for sure! Thank you for sharing!

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