Pasta with Cilantro Pesto and Barley Recipe -
Pasta with Cilantro Pesto and Barley Recipe
  • READY IN 55 mins

Pasta with Cilantro Pesto and Barley

Recipe by  

"This pasta dish is completely virtuous and completely delicious. And it's easy! Use any short, substantial pasta you like if you can't find orechietti. You can also make this with other fresh herbs. Good with more Parmesan on top!"

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Original recipe makes 4 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    15 mins
  • COOK

    40 mins

    55 mins


  1. In a saucepan, bring the 1 1/2 cups water to a boil. Stir in the barley. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 30 minutes.
  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add orecchiette pasta, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
  3. In a food processor, finely chop the cilantro, green onions, and 1/2 the tomatoes. Mix in the broth and Parmesan cheese, and process until well blended.
  4. In a large bowl, toss the barley, pasta, cilantro mixture, remaining tomatoes, and arugula. Season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Jun 30, 2004

Tried this recipe - it was fabulous! I made a few changes. I added lemon juice (to taste). I used my leftover pasta from the night before, so I served it room temp over mixed wild greens, instead of mixing in arugula. I garnished with grated parmesan and cilantro leaves. So good I will make it for the Fourth of July Potluck! Thanks for this recipe!

Most Helpful Critical Review
Aug 23, 2008

I love cilantro and arugula but I couldn't even finish eating my large batch of this recipe. Something about the competing strong flavors of these greens made the dish tangy in a way that tasted almost like it had gone bad.


9 Ratings

Apr 15, 2010

A tasty dish. The trick is to have everything hot at once so my advice is to make the pesto first. Then start the barley. I used Penne Rigate Pasta and put it into the prepared water when the barley had 11 minutes left to cook; exactly as long as the pasta took to be al dente. During those 11 minutes I recommend transferring the pesto to a microwave safe dish and heating it just before pouring it over the cooked pasta and barley. Last of all add arugula and tomato halves. I could not find arugula so baby spinach leaves worked perfectly. I forgot to read the reviews before making but think the lemon juice might be a good addition. If you have a meat lover some cooked hot turkey sausage in slices is another idea although it kills the calories and the vegetarian presentation. Don't hesitate to try this one. It is a keeper!

Jun 14, 2007

Really great!

Dec 13, 2011

I loved the pesto sauce!! I added chopped, cooked chicken to mine and used spinach instead of arugula. Thanks!

Mar 16, 2004

This is a good salad if you LOVE cilantro. I happen to be one that does, but my children do not. I think that if it had some more vegetables and maybe some sort of vinegarette dressing it would be appealing to my family. I may try this one again, but with some modification.


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  • Calories
  • 412 kcal
  • 21%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 81.6 g
  • 26%
  • Cholesterol
  • 4 mg
  • 1%
  • Fat
  • 3.6 g
  • 6%
  • Fiber
  • 8.7 g
  • 35%
  • Protein
  • 14.2 g
  • 28%
  • Sodium
  • 303 mg
  • 12%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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