Serves: 6 as an appetizer
4 as a main course
6 garlic cloves, peeled
2 bunches fresh cilantro, stems trimmed (about 3 cups)
½ tablespoons good green olive oil
¼ to ⅓ cup fresh lime juice
1 cup hulled pumpkin seeds, plus ½ cup separated
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus another ½ cup for table
1 pound linguine
½ cup reserved pasta water
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
2. Using on/off turns, finely chop garlic in processor or blender.
3. Add cilantro, olive oil, and lime juice; process until smooth. Add 1 cup pumpkin seeds and process until finely chopped.
4. Season pesto to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.
5. Cook linguine in the boiling water until just al dente, stirring occasionally.
6. Reserve ½ cup pasta cooking liquid.
7. Drain pasta, and place in a large serving bowl.
8. Add ½ cup of the cheese to the pesto and process just a pulse or two.
9. Lighten the pesto by adding the reserved water until it is the desired consistency.
10. Add the pesto, in large dollops to the pasta and toss to coat well.
11. Serve the remaining pesto and cheese separately on the table.
ADVANCE PREPARATION: Pesto can be made 2 days ahead complete with cheese. Cover and refrigerate. When pasta is ready, proceed to lighten the sauce with the reserved cooking water.