Pesto is one of my favourite things. I often make it in large batches and freeze what I don't use so that I can heat it up later and eat it.
Since it is so easy to make and so easy to freeze and keep for later, I eat a lot of pesto.
This time, I felt like doing something a little different. I had read a recipe on a blog called Cook Your Dream that described using arugula (also called rocket) instead of basil in pesto.
This intrigued me. I like arugula, so I couldn't see how this could go wrong.
After trying it, I think I might even like it better than basil pesto. No joke. This is delicious. My roommates liked it so much that they've been making their own batches of it ever since.
The original recipe that I looked at called for chickpeas in the pasta. Unfortunately, the grocery store in Aspen didn't have chickpeas. Also, no one who worked at the grocery store knew what a chickpea was. I thought chickpeas were a pretty normal thing to have at a grocery store. Apparently not.
So instead I put in cherry tomatoes as an extra ingredient.
Penne Pasta with Rocket Pesto
adapted from a recipe on Cook Your Dream
Ingredients for Pasta:
5 oz Penne Pasta
10 oz of Cherry Tomatoes, each sliced in half
however much Fresh Goat Cheese as you like
shredded Parmesan Cheese
Ingredients for Pesto:
2 cups Arugula
2 Garlic Cloves
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, broken into small chunks
1/2 cup pine nuts
a hearty sprinkling of Salt
Cook pasta according to the instructions on the package.
While water is boiling and pasta is cooking, prepare the pesto.
Put all of the ingredients, except for the olive oil, in a food processor.
Process the ingredients until they are finely chopped, but still a little chunky.
Add in olive oil as needed, pulsing the processor between oil additions, until the pesto reaches your desired consistency.
Taste and add more salt if needed.
When the pasta is cooked, drain the water and return the pasta to the pan.
Add the pesto and the tomatoes and toss until pasta is well coated with pesto.
Transfer the pasta to a plate and crumble as much goat cheese as you like on top.
Then, sprinkle a bit of shredded Parmesan on top.
Eat and enjoy.
If there is leftover pesto, freeze it and eat it another day.
Personally, I used the leftover pesto on goat cheese crostini the next day. Yum!