Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Pistachio and Rucola (Arugula) Pesto with Farfalle--It's In My Pasta Bowl

This week at I Heart Cooking Clubs, we are celebrating all-things pasta with an In My Pasta Bowl theme. My pasta bowl has been plenty full lately with last week's scrumptious orange-hued Penne with Kabocha. This week I wanted something green and "pesto-y" so I selected Pistachio and Rucola Pesto mixed into farfalle. I love pistachios and I like the fact that I can buy bags of fresh local arugula (rucola) at the farmers market. This recipe is from Falling Cloudberries: A World of Family Recipes by Tessa Kiros.

Tessa Kiros says,"This is wonderful mixed through pasta. It has an interesting sharp-sweet flavor. Sometimes, I leave out the Parmesan (although you don't necessarily have to) and stir a few tablespoons through just-ready roast potatoes, then roast them for another five or ten minutes."

Pistachio and Rucola Pesto
Adapted slightly from: Falling Cloudberries
(Makes 1 1/2 Cups)

2 garlic cloves (I used roasted garlic)
1/3 cup shelled pistachios (about 3/4 cup with shells) (I toasted mine)
3/4 small head of arugula
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup olive oil (I reduced to 1/2 cup)

Crush the garlic finely with a little salt until it is almost a paste. Put the nuts in a blender and pulse into coarse bits. Add the arugula and continue to pulse until you have a crumbly, not-too-smooth paste. Scrape it out into a bowl, stir in the garlic, Parmesan, and oil, and mix well. Taste for seasoning--the arugula can be quite peppery and you may not need extra salt, either.

If you won't be using the pesto right away, or if you have some left over, store it covered with a thin layer of olive oil for up to five days in the refrigerator. Bring it to room temperature before stirring it into just-cooked pasta.

Notes/Results: A very flavorful bowl of pasta goodness. This is a quick and easy dish to make--you can quickly toss together the pesto as the pasta cooks. Some people find arugula to be too peppery and strong-flavored, but the nutty pistachios and Parmesan cheese mellow it out nicely here. I recommend two things to soften the edges even more; use roasted garlic if you have it for it's slight sweetness, and toast your pistachios to bring out their flavor. If arugula isn't your thing, spinach would be a good substitute. I served the pasta on a small bed of fresh arugula and topped it with extra grated Parmesan and a few chopped roasted pistachios. I also reduced the oil to about 1/2 cup--I found I didn't need as much as the recipe called for and it was still easily mixed into the pasta. Simple and good, I would make it again.

You can check out what's in the pasta bowls of the other IHCC participants by going to the post and following the links.
I am also sending this dish to Presto Pasta Nights hosted this week by its founder Ruth at Once Upon a Feast. Check out her roundup post on Friday for all kinds of yummy pasta creations.

What's in your pasta bowl? ;-)


  1. That looks delicious! I love how you put the basil leaves around the edges of the dish, that is so pretty and the perfect way to show off this pasta. Yum!

  2. I like eveything about this dish! It's fun to experiment with different nuts and greens for pesto. This looks like a winning combo.

  3. I really like the idea of pistachios! Paul developed "pine nut mouth" earlier this year, so I have been too scared to use them again and have been wondering what nuts to substitute.

  4. I love pistachios in pesto though I've never added in arugula! It must add such a nice bite to the dish!

  5. Your dish looks so good I could dig right in! Great choice for the theme this week! I really do need to experiment with different flavors for my pesto. This version looks delish!

  6. I made an arugula pesto pasta last year that I absolutely loved, I'll have to give this version a try.

  7. Yum! So verdant and alive. I love arugula, and bowties just make me happy. ☺

  8. And yet another name for rocket! Thanks for sharing this gorgeous Hawaiian version of pesto with Presto Pasta Nights.

  9. I think my basil finally bit the dust last night (freezing temperatures). I will have to wait until next spring to try this.

  10. Yum, pistachio!
    Together with pecan it's my favorite. Wish i had this pasta in my bowl to.

  11. Seriously? I can almost taste that way over here. I mean, you had me at roasted garlic and toasted pistachios. No seriously, you almost had me at your front door. (IF ONLY!) sounds amazing, Deb ;D

  12. Heather's comment has me giggling. How funny would it be if we all showed up at your front door?

    I love the subtle spiciness of arugula too and I know I would enjoy this one. I'm green with envy...ha ha.

  13. Loving the festive green color. I'm thinking holiday table. I'll pair it with something red. :) I am a huge fan of arugula and this has to be amazing with the pistachios in it.

  14. I made this a couple of weeks ago and it turned out delicious. Tossed it with pasta, chicken, and smoked sun dried tomatoes. It also freezes beautifully. Thanks!


Mahalo for visiting and for leaving a comment. I love reading them and they mean a lot!

All advertising, spam, inappropriate (or just plain rude) comments will be promptly deleted. I do appreciate your right to free speech and to your opinion but I'm not into mean, rude, or mean snarky (non-mean snarky is just fine!) ;-)