Laksa & Cashew Nut Pesto Linguine

Pesto is an Italian puree and is made of crushed garlic, basil and pine nuts blended with olive oil with cheese. The name is originated in reference to the original method of preparation, using mortar and pestle (pestle, pesto, get it?). Well, times have changed, and people use the blender or a food processor instead of mortar and pestle, and, there are so many pesto variations, some with pine nuts, others with walnuts, even pistachios and cashews; some with other herbs such as coriander or parsley; some made with spinach. The possibilities are endless. I’ve made pesto a couple of times, using different combinations of herbs and nuts and they always turn out good.
Laksa & Cashew Nut Pesto Linguine
I came across this recipe at Evan’s Kitchen Ramblings. The recipe involves laksa or kesom leaves, which I’ve never cooked with before.
Laksa & Cashew Nut Pesto Linguine
I know assam laksa, curry laksa, but have never came across fresh laksa leaves. I’ve never had a chance to make this as I couldn’t find the leaves in the UK. I saw this at the supermarket here in Singapore and immediately thought of this recipe! I added toasted dried shrimps for extra flavour and turned out really delicious! The flavour is pretty distinctive, slightly zesty, spicy. Another keeper.
Laksa & Cashew Nut Pesto Linguine

Laksa & Cashew Nut Pesto Linguine

Printable recipe
By Pig Pig’s Corner

Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Yield: serves 2


  • 200 g linguine
  • 2 large squid – cut into rings
  • 2 soft boiled eggs

For pesto: makes 1 1/2 cups

  • 1 cup packed (30 g) laksa leaves only
  • 2 1/2 tbs (20 g) dried shrimps
  • 100 g cashew nuts
  • 2 red chili – coarsely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic – peeled
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbs fish sauce
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil

For pesto:

  • Heat up a pan and lightly toast the cashew nuts. Do the same with the dried shrimps. Leave to cool slightly.
  • Place laksa leaves, shrimps, nuts, chili and garlic in a food processor and blend until a loose paste is formed.
  • Add sugar, half of the oil and continue to blend. Add more oil and blend until a paste is formed.
  • Add fish sauce to taste.

For pesto linguine:

  • Cook pasta according to the instructions on the package. Drain.
  • Pan fry squid until cooked.
  • Mix together about 1 cup of the laksa pesto, pasta and squid.
  • Serve immediately with eggs.