Linguine with Basil-Cilantro Pesto and Artichokes

13 01 2011



We’ve moved in to the new house! It came with a giant cat and a giant kitchen. I love it and will upload some pictures shortly.

So one of my ways of balancing meals while living with an omnivore is to let him pick a recipe that sounds good for both of us out of one of my cookbooks. He chose this one and I damn near died. Cilantro. I want to go on a cilantro murder spree. Uprooting plants, digging my heels into the dirt, laughing maniacally. Hate it hate it hate it. But I didn’t want to spend forever scrounging through more recipes, so I settled. Bought cilantro. And on the verge of puking, made a pesto out of it.

Then I got the biggest shock of my life. I liked it. I fucking looooved it. It’s not overly cilantro-ish. It’s creamy and fresh-tasting. And mixed with the sweet onions and salty artichokes, this recipe is absolutely crave-able. So fuck you cilantro. You mess with my head.

Linguine with Basil-Cilantro Pesto & Artichokes
Adapted from Veganomicon

1/2 lb. linguine (I used spinach linguine)
2 tbs. olive oil
1 red onion, cut into thin half-moons
4 cloves garlic, sliced
2 tbs. water
1/2 tsp. salt
Several pinches of freshly ground black pepper
1 recipe Basil-Cilantro Pesto (see below)
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and cut into quarters (don’t use the kind that comes in oil. Just the plain tin cans in brine work fine)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta. Once you’ve added the pasta to the water, proceed with the recipe.

Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat and saute the onion in the olive oil until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for a minute more. Add the water, salt and pepper and cook for another minute or two. Lower the heat. At this point, the pasta should be done. Don’t drain it. Use a set of tongs to transfer it to the pan in batches. This works better because you can use the pasta water to thin out the pesto. When you add a batch of pasta, add a bit of pesto too, and stir to coat, adding splashes of pasta water if neccesary.

Add the artichoke hearts and toss to coat. Cook over low heat for about 3 minutes, or until the artichokes are heated through. Serve!

Basil-Cilantro Pesto

2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro
1/3 cup slivered almonds or walnut pieces
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 tbs. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup olive oil

Place the basil, cilantro, nuts, garlic, lemon, and salt in a food processor or blender and blend until pasty, scraping down the sides as you go. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil and blend until smooth.