Pasta with Cilantro Pesto and Barley


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!

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
55 mins
4 servings


  • 1 ½ cups water

  • ½ cup pearl barley

  • 8 ounces uncooked orecchiette pasta

  • 1 bunch cilantro

  • ½ bunch green onions

  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved

  • ½ cup vegetable broth

  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese

  • 1 cup torn arugula leaves

  • salt and pepper to taste


  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.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

413 Calories
4g Fat
82g Carbs
14g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 413
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 1g 7%
Cholesterol 4mg 1%
Sodium 303mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 82g 30%
Dietary Fiber 9g 31%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 14g
Vitamin C 18mg 92%
Calcium 123mg 9%
Iron 4mg 24%
Potassium 444mg 9%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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