How has it been 7 months since I last posted about pesto? Back when I did that double take within 3 weeks of each other. You remember – broccoli pesto quickly followed by the mustard green pesto? Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about. And in that second post I made myself out to be a person who eats pesto regularly, who cannot go without it, and so has to make her own on a regular basis to sate the cravings. Well, I failed. Mostly because we bought the house, and related to that because I’ve just felt exhausted creatively in the kitchen. Did you notice my lack of recipe posts? Probably not with all the other things I was writing, but still. I’ve been slacking in the kitchen in general.
So when this pesto recipe came across my blog reading, I was intrigued by the claims of being easy, of being fast, of being the kind of thing you would eat all summer. So I bought the few ingredients I was missing in order to make it. And then a few nights later when I got home, exhausted and hungry and without the Boy to cook for either, I decided to see what I could do.
And it turned out nicely! The recipe ends up making what I would call 3-4 servings worth of pesto that would be appropriate for a similar amount of pasta. I made dinner for myself, lunch for the next day, and had a very small container left over, which I later used on crackers and was not so bad if I do say so myself. The recipe also says to use a food processor, but it was such a small amount, and I was not interested in washing all the food processor pieces, so whipped up the sauce in my single-serving smoothie blender, and it was just fine. Also much easier in the clean-up department, because it could just be thrown in the dishwasher. Yay!
So – anyone else out there with a recipe that got them out of a funk recently?
Arugula-Almond Pesto with Spaghetti
Yield: 3-4 servings
1 cup arugula
1/4 cup lightly toasted almonds, roughly chopped
1 large clove of garlic, chopped
3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 pound spaghetti
freshly grated parmesan cheese
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
salt and pepper
Combine the arugula, almonds, garlic, lemon juice, parmesan cheese and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse, until coarsely pureed. With the motor running slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Continue to process until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of cooking liquid. Return the spaghetti to the pan, add the pesto and toss until evenly coated, adding reserved pasta water, a little at a time, if the pasta seems a bit dry.
Divide between bowls and top with parmesan cheese, crushed red pepper flakes and a drizzle of olive oil. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper if necessary.