Arugula Pesto & Peas Orecchiette

Mar 24, 2015

If you ask me, any excuse to make fresh pesto is a great excuse. And my excuse this time is going to be that Spring is finally here to stay, which made me feel like making something green for lunch. If you feel like you need a better excuse, then I’ll just say that Arugula is packed with loads of Vitamin A and C and since it isn’t cooked, it preserves all of its nutrients intact.

If you’re looking for a nice quick lunch, then this might be great for you. You can also make it in the evening and store it in the fridge for a nice lunch on the go at the office, as it’s equally good served hot as it is cold. Also, you could just make the pesto and sprinkle it over some steamed broccoli, roasted chicken breast or just use it as a dip for fresh veggies. It keeps very well in the fridge for 5-7 days, if stored in an airtight container.

And yes, this post hasn’t got a lot of photos; that’s because I was famished when I was cooking and just couldn’t wait to get through all of the steps so that I could finally dig my fork in the bowl.

Arugula Pesto & Peas Orecchiette

Serves 4

For the Arugula Pesto:

150gr/5oz arugula

110 gr/1 cup Parmesan, cubed

One lemon, juiced and zested

Two cloves of garlic

120ml/1/2 cup olive oil

Put all the ingredients in a blender and whizz everything well. Check for seasoning and add a little salt or additional olive oil if you feel like it needs some.

To assemble the pasta

500gr/2 cups orecchiette or other similar shaped pasta (pipe rigate or conchiglie)

3/4 cup peas, fresh or frozen

50gr/1/3 cup toasted pine nuts

125gr/1/2 cup Arugula pesto

1 tablespoon finely chopped mint leaves

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

Start by toasting the pine nuts in a small skillet until they release flavour and become golden, but be careful not to burn them. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta until al dente, according to the package instructions. Strain the pasta, put in a large bowl and save the water that you’ve used for boiling them. Place this water on the hob again and when it reaches boiling point, blanch the peas in it for one minute. Strain the peas, then add them in the bowl with the pasta. Add all of the other ingredients and toss everything together. P(r)esto Lunch-o!

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