Coriander Pesto Pasta

Coriander pesto

Its been only a few months since I moved to Bangalore and besides the weather, I am in love with the food options you get here.  Every nook and corner has something delightful for your palate. Not to forget the food festivals – its a celebration of culture, local artists, music and above all local and gourmet food.  Recently the city hosted an international food festival which no foodie in the town missed.

This food extravaganza was even more exciting since the judges from the infamous show Masterchef Australia were there to give an insight to their style of cooking  and their  dishes. The whole venue was buzzing with people with excitement to witness this gastronomical journey. During these two days, I happen to attend the Masterclass taught my Matt Preston. The flair with which he cooks (and also dresses up) makes me fall in love with him. How local and simple produce can be turned into something so fine and sumptuous, its definitely a skill to imbibe from him. Taking inspiration from one of the recipes he had taught during the class, this dish is a version of that.

I never thought of using coriander in my pesto. Now that I have made it, I know its a winner. The freshness and the aroma from the leaves is beautiful. So the next time you don’t have basil in your pantry or if you want to use local produce, don’t hesitate, this coriander pesto is the way to go. Use it in your pasta, bruschetta or even pizza base, it is delicious. So when your day is hectic and you need a good and quick meal to pep you up, just toss some coriander pesto with your pasta – its yummy!

IMG_6448

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS:

For the coriander pesto:

  • 1 1/2 cup of coriander leaves with stalk, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup of basil (optional)
  • 20 pieces of cashew nuts
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp of ginger (optional)
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly grounded black pepper, to taste

For the pasta:

  • 2 1/2 cups of boiled pasta (it should be al dente)
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili flakes
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • few fresh basil leaves, torn roughly
  • salt, to taste
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • freshly grounded black pepper, to taste
  • grated parmesan, for garnishing

METHOD:

  • In a blender add coriander leaves with stalk, basil leaves, cashew nuts, garlic, ginger and half the olive oil and blend it together.
  • Once its blended add lime juice, parmesan cheese, salt, black pepper and the remaining olive oil and blend it again to form a smooth paste.
  • Keep the coriander pesto paste aside.
  • In a saucepan heat the oil and add whole garlic cloves. Let it sauté for 3 – 4 minutes on low heat. This allows the sweet garlic flavor to be infused in the whole dish. You can let whole cloves be a part of the dish or remove it from the oil.
  • Next add the chili flakes in the oil and sauté for a 20 – 25 seconds on medium heat.
  • Add the coriander pesto and cook for 30 – 40 seconds. Then add in the boiled pasta and toss it gently until the pasta it well covered with the pesto.
  • Add in the salt, black pepper, torn basil leaves, lemon zest and lemon juice and gently toss it.
  • Transfer it to the serving bowl, garnish it with basil leaves and parmesan and serve hot.

Coriader pesto 1

Enjoy!

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