Pumpkin Seed Pesto and Pasta

For best flavor, prepare pesto one to two days before serving.
Servings 7
Prep Time


  • 3/4 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups raw pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bunches cilantro, stems removed
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 8 ounces dry pasta
  • Manchego or Mahon cheese, shredded


  1. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in large skillet over medium heat; saute pumpkin seeds until seeds begin to pop, puff, and lightly brown (3-4 minutes). Stir in garlic, saute one minute longer; remove from heat. Cool completely. Once seeds are cool, combine all ingredients except pasta and cheese in food processor; pulse until smooth. Refrigerate, covered.
  2. To Serve: Prepare pasta in lightly salted boiling water until al dente; drain. Heat one-half pesto in microwave (medium,50 percent power) until heated through (2-3 minutes), stirring once. Immediately spoon pasta into serving bowl, stir in pesto mixture; toss until pasta is well coated. Garnish with Manchego or Mahon cheese.