Starting last month, I have been having wonderful experiences in my kitchen playing with new ingredients, tweaking around recipes (like I always do) to add some zing and create something different from the usual fare. I have a few other recipes to share with you, but I shall begin with this healthy and tasty arugula-walnut pesto.
My recipe is primarily based on the recipe by Matt, the author of “nomeatathlete”.
This recipe serves 4, so please adjust as per your need. Typically what I do, is make the pesto as indicated below and then save it. I will also let you know at the bottom how to preserve your pesto*. Pasta, I boil only as per my need at the time of eating.
- 16 ounces whole wheat fettuccine
- 5 ounces fresh arugula
- 1/3 cup grated vegetarian parmesan cheese (vegetarian parmesan cheese should be available at your local grocer’s that does NOT use animal rennet)
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 2 medium sized cloves of garlic, peeled
- 1/2 tsp sea salt, more to taste and for pasta water
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice – I used meyer lemons since I had that kind in my fridge
- fresh-ground black pepper
- Some freshly grated parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top
Method Of Preparation:
Boil water for the pasta; add salt until it tastes like the sea. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions, typically until it’s “al dente” (al dente in Italian means to the tooth). I remember watching an episode of Alton Brown, where he tosses a strand of spaghetti pasta on the wall to test for the perfectness of “al dente”. If it sticks to the wall, it pretty much means the pasta is done. Once the pasta is done, drain the water – remember to save some water, I’ll tell you in just a bit why. Set the pasta aside.
OK, moving on, while the pasta cooks, combine arugula, walnuts, cheese, garlic, and lemon juice in a food processor. Process for a few seconds until coarsely ground. With the food processor running, slowly drizzle in the oil until the mixture is almost smooth, with just a little texture. Add more salt to taste.
Next, toss the pasta in a mixing bowl, add the pesto, a spoonful at a time and mix. Sometimes, I add a little water, from the one that I saved from the pasta earlier to help mix the two. I have noticed at times, that if my pesto is to coarse or less on the oil, it might be hard for the pesto to stick to the pasta. Once you have mixed it and while it’s still hot, serve. Garnish with some fresh parmesan cheese and freshly ground black pepper.
*How to preserve your pesto: I transfer my leftover pasta in a glass jar and add a little bit of olive oil to form a thin layer over the pesto such that it remains fresh and the top part does not become dry. If you wish to preserve it for longer, store it in the freezer, else for a 5/6 days, the fridge is just fine.
The original recipe is from the nomeatathlete’s recipe page.