A little while ago I posted about the many ways to make a pesto – last night I decided to take my own advice and fiddle around with a couple things. I currently am in a refound obsession with arugula – or rocket as Jamie Oliver loves to call it – therefore I decided that was going to be my base.
The best thing about pesto, and I said it before, is how easy they are to make. There really isn’t much cooking to do. Let’s just say if you can cook pasta, and press a button then you can make this dish. And really if you can’t do that, let me know, we’ll take you all the way back to the basics (of life).
Serves 6 – the portion size is based on how much pesto this recipe makes – if you cook less pasta, you’ll have leftover pesto. ** See below for alternate uses for pesto.
- 4 cups baby arugula, washed and dried
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup toasted walnuts *
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup EVOO
- S&P, to taste
- Multi-grain pasta, optional **
In a food processor, combine arugula, cheese, walnuts, and garlic. Process until the mixture is chopped finely. Add the EVOO and process again. A paste should form. Taste, and season with S&P if necessary.
If you don’t have a good food processor, chop up the garlic to give it a little help.
Mix with pasta and serve.
There are a couple ways to toast nuts. I like to do them in a small frying pan on the stove (on a low heat). They do burn very quickly so do not walk away. As soon as they are done to your liking (ie. golden brown) take them out of the pan. The pan carries residual heat which will burn make them burn. Also, wait until they are cooled to use them in the pesto – you don’t want the cheese to melt, nor the arugula to wilt and turn brown.
Pesto doesn’t always have to be served with pasta. If you trying to watch your carb intake, add it to grilled or roasted vegetables. Add a little zip to your favourite salad dressing. Your balsamic vinaigrette will never have tasted better.
Remember that with food the sky is the limit, trial and error is your best friend. If you try something and it doesn’t work, don’t do it again, but at least you tried. 🙂
There, that is my after school special speech of the day. Have a great long weekend everyone!