January 29, 2015

Sun-dried Tomato and Arugula Pesto Pasta

"Simple, easy and delicious" - defines pasta for me. Pasta is my fallback dish, my ultimate savior whenever I am in a time crunch or tired or in no mood to cook. My kids love pasta and for them, pasta is a fancy food. They love to eat pasta, any time of the day!

We particularly love pesto pasta and I have tried various combinations of greens & nuts. What I like about pesto is that, it is not only super-quick & easy to prepare, but also a great way to sneak in lot of fresh greens, veggies and nuts. Once in a while, I add parmesan cheese and make it extra fancy for my kids. The most satisfying part about pesto, my kids cannot pick greens/veggies out and throw it off their plates. The good stuff just goes in with little (or) no resistance and in that sense, pesto pasta is truly a winner!

This particular recipe uses fresh baby arugula, roasted walnuts and sun-dried tomatoes. This pesto tastes slightly peppery from the arugula, but is nicely balanced by the tanginess from sun-dried tomatoes & lime-juice. While arugula is a nutrient-packed greens with lot of essential vitamins, olive oil and walnuts contributes to heart-healthy fats.

You can easily substitute walnuts in this recipe with almonds, pine nuts or any other nuts that you like. Since the sun-dried tomatoes that I used is packed in olive oil, I used only 1/8 cup of oil in the recipe. But, if you are using regular sun-dried tomatoes, you might have to double up the quantity of olive oil.

Basic Info
Complexity - Simple
Prep time - 5 mins
Cook time - 5 mins
Serves - 4-6

about 300 gms of gluten-free Penne Pasta

2 packed cups baby Arugula
1/2 cup roasted Walnuts
1/2 cup sun-dried Tomatoes
1/8 cup Olive oil
1 clove of Garlic
Salt & Pepper to taste

Juice of 1/2 lime

Cook pasta as per packet instructions. Drain pasta and reserve about a cup of pasta water.

Place arugula, roasted walnuts, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic in a food processor. Add salt & pepper as needed. While drizzling olive oil through the feed tube, pulse everything together (scraping down the sides as needed) until the consistency looks like pesto. Transfer the pesto to a bowl.

In a pan, toss cooked pasta and prepared pesto (as much needed) together. Add 3/4 cup of pasta water and give a good mix. Remove the pan from heat as soon as the pasta is heated through. Add lime juice, mix well, serve & enjoy!

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