Spaghetti with Hazelnut Coriander Pesto

spagheti-hazelnut pesto

Spaghetti with Hazelnut Coriander Pesto is a surprisingly healthy and interesting variation in the regular pesto pastas. A classic pesto is made of basil and pine nuts, this is a nice variation to it, using coriander and hazelnuts. I was a little apprehensive in the beginning but it was a pleasant surprise, and has become a regular at our home. 

I make most of my pastas with wholewheat pasta by Waitrose, and they are pretty good, unlike most other brands wholewheat variants which tend to become a little dry and tend to break with a little stir, these are much better on the palette. 

I discovered this combinations in one of my favorite cookbooks, 75 pasta sauces, which is a treasure trove for anyone interested in learning all about pasta. I learnt the names of many pastas i never knew before, and made a note to myself that for the Italian fan that i am , i have never had fusilli col buco, or a tortellini or never seen a curly lasagne. 

Then there were short but very interesting write-ups describing the herbs used in sauces and what should they be paired with, and also about basic pasta ingredients. And that is where i learnt, that coriander is also used as a herb in pasta sauces. For me it was always a basil pesto, or a parsley or dill. I am a onion and coriander junkie , my food never has had any dearth of these two, reading this i had to go looking for a recipe using coriander as a sauce. So one of the sauces listed in the book was a coriander and hazelnut sauce. It was a pleasant surprise


  • 350 gm wholewheat Spaghetti
  • 1/3 cup hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 7-8 garlic cloves
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander, cleaned and coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp -2 tsp salt to taste
  • 1 onion coarsely chopped
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • Fresh coriander sprigs for garnish


  1. Cook the pasta following the instructions on the packet, until al dente. 
  2. Meanwhile add all the ingredients except 3 tbsp of oil in a grinder and grind them to make the sauce
  3. I prefer frying the onions and garlic before this process, but one can skip it, infect the onion was my addition, the recipe didn’t ask for onions. 
  4. Heat the remaining oil in a large pan, and add the sauce to it, and fry very gently until thoroughly heated. 
  5. Drain the spaghetti thoroughly and stir it into the sauce, toss well to coat. 
  6. Serve immediately, garnished with fresh coriander. 

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