Mexican Macaroni and Corn (pesto)

Photo by Laurie S.

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

--

servings

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

--

servings

Ingredients

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1

    pound whole wheat or whole grain penne

  • 3

    large ears sweet corn

  • 1/3

    cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus more for brushing

  • 3

    tablespoons natural pistachios or sliced almonds

  • 3

    tablespoons pumpkin seeds

  • A couple small handfuls grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

  • 3

    jalapeño chili peppers, seeded for milder heat, then 2 coarsely chopped and 1 finely chopped

  • 2

    cloves garlic, grated or pasted

  • 1

    cup fresh basil, loosely packed

  • 3/4

    cup cilantro leaves

  • 1/4

    cup fresh mint (about 1 generous handful)

  • 2

    sprigs oregano

  • 1

    lime, juiced

  • 2

    tomatoes, seeded and chopped

  • 1/2

    small red onion, finely chopped

Directions

Bring a pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking water. While the pasta is working, pre-heat an outdoor grill or indoor grill pan to medium. Husk, rinse and dry the corn. Brush with EVOO to coat; season with salt and pepper. Grill, turning occasionally, to brown the kernels at the edges, about 20 minutes. Using a sharp knife, scrape the kernels off the cobs into a bowl. Meanwhile, in a dry skillet, toast the nuts and pumpkin seed until fragrant. Transfer to a food processor to cool. Add the cheese, coarsely chopped jalapeños, garlic, basil, cilantro, mint, oregano, lime juice, salt and pepper. Process the pesto, streaming in 1/3 cup EVOO. In a medium size bowl, combine the tomatoes, onion and finely chopped jalapeño; season with salt. In a large serving bowl, combine the pesto with the reserved pasta water. Add the pasta and corn; toss for a minute to combine. Serve in shallow bowls, topped with the tomato salsa.

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