Arugula pesto is easy to make and has a delicious slight peppery taste. Perfect stirred through pasta, spread in sandwiches and more.
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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. It's also one I nearly always have all the ingredients already. In other words, perfect for those nights without a plan.
Arugula pesto is really quick and easy to make, like most pestos. It 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. It's versatile, quick to make and delicious.
There are lots of variations you can make with pesto in terms of using different nuts, adding lemon juice etc. Some are traditional, others less so. I think for this, keeping the other ingredients pretty classic ie pine nuts, parmesan, garlic and olive oil works best.
How long does it keep?
It probably looks and tastes best when freshly made but will also keep for a good week or more in the fridge. Just put it in a jar or other sealable container, flatten down the top and pour a thin layer of olive oil over the top of the pesto.
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. The layer of oil also helps to avoid discoloring, as well as going bad.
How to serve this
When we have it with pasta, I usually keep things relatively simple. Sometimes we use no more than just pesto, other times I cook up a little onion, pepper and zucchini in a little olive oil as the pasta is cooking to stir in as well.
Throwing in some cooked shrimp or chicken with the pesto is also an easy and delicious way to add some variety. Leftover Thanksgiving turkey is great in there, too.
Aside from using it with pasta, you can also use pesto as a spread on bread, thin it out with a little extra oil to drizzle over salad and more.
Arugula pesto is such an easy sauce to make and adds great flavor and is very versatile. I am sure like us once you make it once, you'll soon have it on repeat. And wondering why you ever bought pesto ready-made.
Try these other pasta sauces:
- Walnut sauce (a bit like a walnut pesto)
- Butternut squash sauce
- Pesto alla Trapanese (Sicilian almond tomato pesto)
- Plus get more side dishes in the archives.
Arugula pesto (rocket pesto)
- 1 oz pine nuts
- 2 ½ oz arugula rocket
- 1 clove garlic small-medium, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 oz parmesan grated
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil 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 in a food processor and pulse until well chopped. Scrape down the sides, as needed. Add the garlic and pine nuts and pulse to break everything up. Then add the parmesan and pulse to mix. Again, scrape down as you go as needed.
- Add the olive oil while the food processor is running, if an option, or else add a little at a time, pulsing in between. 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.
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