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“Cook's Illustrated”
8 as side dish

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Toast the nuts in a small, heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until just golden and fragrant, about 4-5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a big pot; lower the skewered garlic into the water, boil for 45 seconds.
  3. Immediately run the garlic under cold water, remove from the skewer; peel and mince.
  4. Add the basil, mint, cilantro, to a large heavy-duty zip-lock bag; pound with the flat side of a meat pounder until all the leaves are bruised.
  5. Place the nuts, garlic, herbs, ginger, red pepper flakes, oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in the work bowl of a food processor; process until smooth, stopping as necessary to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  6. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl and adjust the salt.
  7. Add 1 tablespoon salt and the pasta to the boiling water; cook until al dente.
  8. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water; drain the pasta and transfer it back to the cooking pot.
  9. Mix in 1/4 cup of the reserved cooking water and the pesto; use the additional 1/4 cup cooking water as needed to moisten the sauce.
  10. Place in a warmed serving dish and serve immediately.

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