Spaghetti with arugula and walnut pesto
This is the third pesto recipe we've published and it has two advantages over the pesto genovese and the pesto di pistacchio dishes. The first is that it is the quickest to make, no more than 15 minutes start to finish, and secondly arugula is easier to find fresh all through the winter when the best quality basil may not be available. The arugula in Italy is always pre-washed and bagged for immediate use and costs no more than 1 euro for this quantity so this is another very cheap dinner that is exceptionally tasty and requires no real skill in the kitchen. Our kind of dinner in other words.
Ingredients for 2 people:
280 grams ( 10 oz ) spaghetti
35 grams ( 1.25 oz ) shelled walnuts
70 grams ( 2.5 oz ) arugula
32 grams ( 1.1 oz ) Parmigiano reggiano
1 or 2 sun-dried tomatoes
lemon zest plus a little lemon juice
sea salt only, no pepper required
1/3 cup extra virgin Italian olive oil
With these small quantities, a hand blender and a tall plastic beaker work fine and the rucola is not sensitive like basil to the blending process. We don't believe this recipe needs garlic.
1. Put the pasta into water on a rolling boil.
2. Add about one third of a cup of olive oil and the walnuts to a container and blend them together quickly.
3. Add the rucola, the sun-dried tomato, the lemon zest and juice and salt to the same container and blend everything.
4. Add the cheese to the same container but stir it in rather than using the blender. Taste the pesto for balance as it typically requires more salt than anticipated. The pesto should be quite firm at this stage (photo above right).
5. When the spaghetti is ready, remove it with a slotted spoon and add it to a mixing bowl with the pesto. Add more liquid or olive oil as required.