My motto is, “The fewer dishes I have to clean later, the better.”
(That and “Don’t trust anyone who dislikes Star Wars,” but that’s neither here nor there.)
I hate washing dishes. If I put together a list of Activities I Don’t Like to Do, “washing dishes” would be up near the top, along with “ironing” and “solving quadratic equations.” So I’m always supremely pleased when I come across a recipe that requires few prep tools and bowls because that means hooray! — fewer things to wash later.
This is one such recipe. The only things you’ll have to clean up afterwards is your food processor, pine-nut-toasting pan, pasta-boiling pot, and garlic-smashing tool of choice, leaving more time for watching Mythbusters reruns. Bliss.
Arugula pesto is more peppery than typical basil or spinach pesto, so I like to toss it with a more substantial pasta, like spinach tagliatelle (which I did here) or fusilli. I imagine it could easily overpower more delicate pastas like spaghetti, so keep that in mind when you’re deciding what to pair it with.
Arugula Pesto Pasta
4 cups arugula (about 6 ounces)
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup good olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Cooked pasta of choice (recommended: tagliatelle, fusilli)
Toast the pine nuts in a small pan over low-medium heat until they’re slightly browned. Make sure to move them around often and keep an eye on them as they toast because pine nuts can go from “perfectly toasted” to “burnt and useless” in a flash.
In a food processor, pulse together the arugula, pine nuts, and Parmesan until it’s almost smooth. Then, with the food processor running, gradually pour in the olive oil until everything is nice and blended. If the pesto looks a little too thick for your liking, drizzle in more olive oil until it has reached your preferred consistency. Keep in mind, though, that it’ll likely get slightly thinned out when you toss it with pasta later.
Season it with salt and pepper to taste, and toss with your cooked pasta of choice. Serve with additional toasted pine nuts on top.