Life & Pesto & True Stories

c pesto pasta 

Bad News & Good News again. This is real life people.

The Bad News:
Finals are happening, and I work retail that requires me to greatly increase my availability.

Out of thin air.

The Good News:
I do suppose this means more money to buy my sneaky bitch of an amazing boyfriend, that’s already started playing Santa Claus, presents for Christmas.

But still, it makes for some long days.

But still, I know he’ll appreciate anything I give him. + this means a little extra money to buy myself a pair of shoes or something.

More good news:
I made everyone something awesome.
Like, awesome enough to make me proud that it came from the depths of this brain of mine.
God bless the person that’s up in there trying to organize it all.


True Story: I’ve attempted basil pesto before.
Several times.
They’ve mostly been expensive crash and burns.
Then I read about herb/pine nut alternatives and I was like, whoaa.

Then I was thinking:
What do I have a current obsession with? Cilantro.
What can use as an alternative to pine nuts? I’ve heard walnuts.
What about the Parmesan? Cotija. Duh.
I was crumbling it down one day and realized it would be the perfect alternative to Parmesan in a pesto.

Let me tell you about this salty goodness. It’s a Mexican cheese that’s almost like a mix between Parmesan and Feta, and it’s amazing. (You can find it with the chorizo and other refrigerated Mexican food items. Most stores have it, and I recommend the brand El Mexicano.) I think Steve regrets telling me about this because I try to put in everything and it makes him cringe. When I told him there was pasta in the fridge, and extra Cotija to put on top, he told me he didn’t know about that. I told him to shut up and eat it.

And that’s how Cilantro Cotija Pesto was born.

Literally, like I carried around an idea in my head of a womb for a couple of weeks then birthed it into awesomeness.

I’m going to save you all the fierceness of photoshop, as shown in this post.

You’re welcome.

Cilantro Cotija Pesto
 makes enough to cover a pound of pasta

1 1/2 c cilantro, you can include some stem if you want
1/4 c walnuts
2/3 c crumbled Cotija
i clove of garlic, minced or grated
juice of half a lime, totally optional, but it adds a nice zing.
a few grinds of pepper
noo salt

1/3 c olive oil

throw everything except the oil into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until nicely combined, this will take several pulses.

Now, with the processor running, veeerrrry slowly drizzle in the olive oil, so that it all comes together in a bit of creaminess.

Now you have pesto.

If you want to do what I did, boil up a pound of penne, grill a pound of chicken, and crumble some  extra Cotija. Save about a third of a cup of the pasta water before you drain and add it back when you go to toss the pasta with the pesto. Place in some bowls and top with that extra Cotija. Dinner is served.

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