Spaghetti with Pepita Pesto and Cactus

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 30 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Nutrition Info
Save Recipe

Ingredients

Kosher salt

8 ounces spaghetti

1 28-ounce can or jar nopalitos (cactus), drained

1/3 cup pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)

1 bunch fresh cilantro, leaves only (about 3 cups)

2 cloves garlic, sliced

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 tomato, finely chopped

1 Fresno chile pepper, finely chopped (remove seeds for less heat)

1/3 cup crumbled Cotija cheese

Freshly ground pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook as the label directs, adding the cactus during the last 1 minute of cooking. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain. Return the pasta and cactus to the pot.
  2. Meanwhile, spread the pepitas on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until golden, about 8 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes, then transfer to a blender. Add the cilantro, garlic, olive oil and 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking water and puree until smooth.
  3. Add the pepita pesto, tomato, chile and all but 2 tablespoons of the cheese to the pot with the pasta and cactus; toss to combine, slowly adding the remaining 1/2 cup cooking water as needed to loosen. Season with salt and pepper. Serve topped with the remaining 2 tablespoons cheese.

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Lemon Spaghetti

Real Meatballs and Spaghetti

Baked Spaghetti