Pasta with Cilantro-Peanut Pesto

So here's the deal. I have a love/hate relationship with pesto. It's good and all, but the standard pesto that calls for basil and pine nuts makes for a pricey meal. And it's ok...

Cue this twist on pesto. So much flavor and most of the ingredients are in your pantry. Now that's my kind of meal. 

Very similar to the Thai Peanut Noodles, but may be even better...

Pasta with Cilantro-Peanut Pesto
Slightly adapted from Our Best Bites; originally from Martha Stewart Everyday Food
1 cup of cilantro, roughly chopped

1 tsp. garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground ginger

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1 Tbsp. sesame oil
{use veggie oil if you don’t have this; just adds more flavor}
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes

1 1/2 tsp. brown sugar

2 Tbsp. lime juice
1/4 cup roasted peanuts {plus more for serving, if desired}

2 Tbsp. soy sauce

3/4 pound (12 oz.) linguine or spaghetti, cooked according to box instructions

1. In a food processor or blender, combine cilantro (save a bit of cilantro for garnish), garlic, ginger, vegetable and sesame oils, red pepper flakes, lime juice, brown sugar and peanuts (basically everything except soy sauce).
2. Pulse until a coarse paste forms. Season with soy sauce and pulse to combine.  In a large bowl, toss pesto with hot pasta. Roughly chop additional peanuts and sprinkle over pasta along with extra cilantro leaves and lime wedges if desired.  
3. Serve immediately. (If you’re prepping and not quite ready to eat yet, wait to toss with pasta until right before serving for the best flavor.)  


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