Orecchiette with coriander pesto, barley and rocket

    55 min

    A gourmet vegetarian pasta dish that's worth making. You can make this with other fresh herbs. Serve with plenty of freshly grated Parmesan.

    12 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 350ml (12 fl oz) water
    • 100g (4 oz) pearl barley
    • 1/2 (500g) pack orecchiette pasta
    • 1 bunch fresh coriander
    • 1/2 bunch spring onions
    • 175g (6 oz) cherry tomatoes, halved
    • 100ml (4 fl oz) vegetable stock
    • 50g (2 oz) Parmesan cheese
    • good handful torn rocket leaves
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

    Prep:15min  ›  Cook:40min  ›  Ready in:55min 

    1. In a saucepan, bring the water to the boil. Stir in the barley. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 30 minutes.
    2. Cook pasta according to package instructions; drain.
    3. In a food processor, finely chop the coriander, spring onions and half of the tomatoes. Mix in the stock and Parmesan cheese, and process until well blended.
    4. In a large bowl, toss the barley, pasta, coriander mixture, remaining tomatoes and rocket. Season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.

    Parmesan cheese

    Parmesan cheese is not truly vegetarian, as it contains animal rennet. To make this dish 100% vegetarian, omit the cheese or find a suitable vegetarian substitute made without animal rennet. In supermarkets look for the 'parmesan style hard cheeses' which are suitable for vegetarians.

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    Reviews in English (8)


    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.  -  23 Aug 2008  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    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!  -  30 Jun 2004  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    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!  -  14 Apr 2010  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)