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Arugula Pesto Pasta

May 23, 2011

You know…I’m not sure if I ever told you all that my CSA started 2 weeks ago! I’ve gotten a bit carried away with supper club, but I can’t even begin to describe how excited I am. If you remember, I had my first CSA experience last winter. This summer, I’m continuing my CSA with Bells Bend Farms. I’m gonna get to the farm one of these days (probably once the cicadas are gone) and take some pictures so you all can see the farm! (For now, check out the website!)

Even though it’s early in the season, we have been getting some great food – green onions, green garlic, cilantro, the most delicious peas, radishes, lettuce, strawberries, and the feature for this post – arugula! Arugula is one of my favorite greens – it’s earthy, spicy, and slightly bitter. It’s perfect raw in a salad or cooked with some garlic, but I love making pesto with it. It’s a nice twist on a traditional basil pesto and is a great way to showcase arugula’s awesome flavor. The pesto can be a topping for toasted bread, a sauce for some grilled fish or meat, or as the perfect condiment to some pasta!

This is perhaps the simplest dish to put together. Boil some pasta, toss it with some pesto and some extra pasta water, and throw in some chicken (I just used the leftovers from my roast chicken this weekend!). Voila, you have an awesome meal that’s garden fresh and delicious!

Arugula Pesto Pasta with Chicken (serves 4)

(Recipe courtesy of Vivek Surti)

For the pesto:

1 garlic clove

1/4 cup walnuts

1/2 lemon, juiced

2 cups arugula

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Get your food processor out and add the garlic, walnuts, and lemon juice. Pulse until this becomes a paste. Then add the arugula and process until the mixture starts to look like a pesto. Stream the olive oil in through the feed tube. Remove from the food processor and add the cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

For the pasta:

1 lb pasta

1/4 cup pasta water (reserved after cooking pasta)

1 cup shredded chicken (from my roast chicken recipe)

Parmigiano-Reggiano

Boil the pasta according to the box directions until al dente. Reserve some of the pasta water and drain the noodles. Put the noodles in a bowl with the chicken and add some pesto and pasta water until you have just enough sauce to coast the pasta. You may have leftover pesto (and that’s a good thing!). Put pasta on the plate, and then peel some parmigiano cheese with a vegetable peeler over the top.

Are any of you readers CSA participants? If so, which one? What are you all getting so far?

Cheers,

Vivek

3 Comments leave one →
  1. May 24, 2011 1:57 PM

    I’m participating in my FIFTH(!) summer CSA, and technically my 6th CSA because I did a winter one this past year. I’ve done 2 years on Avalon Acres (meat, produce, eggs), and now this is my third summer with Delvin. It was Delvin’s winter share I also did this past year. I am splitting a half-share, which for Delvin means we get a full box every 2 weeks. We just got our first box Saturday. Two different types of kale, some cauliflower, gorgeous swiss chard, strawberries, and more. I’m so excited for what the rest of the season brings me!

  2. May 24, 2011 3:42 PM

    So funny–I got some arugula because I like to serve pan-fried gnocchi on a bed of it but then I had a LOT left. I saw a recipe for arugula pesto when trying to think of something to do with the rest and thought I should try it. Though I was a little wary. But your endorsement is a big help!

  3. May 25, 2011 4:26 PM

    mmm, i love this combination. pesto + chicken + pasta = pure deliciousness. we debated doing a csa this year, but decided against it – i am trying to get lots more locally-grown produce at farmer’s markets, though. now that the east nashville farmer’s market is back, that’s even easier to do!

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