I’m sure we all have them: days when I am feeling uninspired or totally unmotivated to make anything complicated for dinner. On those days we often default to pasta with pesto as it’s nice and quick and everyone likes it. I have made my own pesto for the last few years, and this arugula pesto is probably the or one of a few favorites in our house, and one I will frequently have all the ingredients to make in the house.
Arugula pesto is really quick and easy to make, like most pestos, and has both a beautiful green color and a nice slight peppery taste, as you would expect being an arugula/rocket base. It’s delicious mixed through pasta or use it wherever else you might use pesto, such as spread in sandwiches. There are lots of variations you can make with pesto in terms of using different nuts, adding lemon juice etc but I think for this, keeping the rest of the ingredients pretty classic ie pine nuts, parmesan, garlic and olive oil works best.
It probably looks and tastes best when freshly made but will also keep for a good week or more if you put it in a jar or other sealable container, cover the top of the pesto with a layer of olive oil and store it in the fridge. Arugula pesto actually keeps it’s vibrant green color much better than basil pesto, so it will both look and taste pretty good for a few days. When we have it with pasta, I usually keep things relatively simple and just cook up a little onion, pepper and zucchini in a little olive oil as the pasta is cooking to stir in alongside the pesto once the pasta has cooked. Just after Thanksgiving, though, it’s also a perfect thing to throw a bit of leftover turkey into.
This is such an easy pesto to make but has a great flavor and is very versatile. I am sure like us once you make it once, you’ll be making it and enjoying it again and again. And wondering why you ever bought pesto ready-made.
An easy, tasty variation on a classic pesto that's perfect with pasta.
- 1 oz pine nuts 30g
- 2 1/2 oz arugula 75g rocket
- 1 clove garlic small-medium, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 oz parmesan 30g, grated
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 60ml, or virgin olive oil
Lightly toast the pine nuts either in a dry frying pan over a medium heat or under the broiler/grill until lightly brown. Keep an eye on them as you don't want to burn them and they can go quickly.
Put the arugula/rocket, garlic, parmesan and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until broken up and well mixed.
Add the olive oil while the food processor is running then remove, stir and either use or transfer to a sealable container and cover with a layer of olive oil and store in the fridge until needed.
Try these other tasty sauces great with pasta: