I was excited when I received my recipe for Taste of Home Cooking's most recent recipe swap featuring Celebrity Chef Recipes. I have always wanted to make a pesto using something other than basil, but had just never gotten around to it. So getting this Giada De Laurentiis recipe for Arugula Pesto (minus the grilled shrimp in that link) submitted by the author of the blog Fried Ice and Donuts was perfect timing.
Though a dainty green, arugula is strong and peppery and all of that came through in this pesto. Another great thing about this pesto - it is ridiculously easy and takes all of three minutes to make. And not to my surprise, my almost 2-year old daughter ate and loved it. Chicken nuggets or french fries - forget it. But give her something "fancy" and packed with flavor (especially garlic) in terms of kid-food and she'll devour it.
I tossed the arugula pesto with pasta, but would also love to use it as a spread on a sandwich or panini - maybe some grilled chicken, tomato, and mozzarella!
The only change I made was to use 2 cloves of garlic instead of one. The original recipe is below.
- 2 cups Arugula, packed
- 1 Garlic Clove (I used 2)
- 1/2 cup Olive Oil
- 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt, plus more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper, plus more to taste
- 12 ounces Pasta Shapes (I used 8 oz of penne and have some pesto leftover to use on a sandwich or 2)
- In the bowl of a food processor, blend the arugula and garlic until finely chopped.
- With the machine running, gradually add the oil, processing until well blended.
- Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper.
- Season with more salt and pepper, to taste.
*This recipe makes 1 cup of pesto, which will serve 4 over 12 ounces of pasta. It can be made up to 2 days ahead of time, kept covered in the fridge.