One of my favorite things about cooking is that it can seem like something of a superpower. Before I learned how to cook, I’d open the fridge and rummage through the cupboards and often end up frustrated, reaching for whatever was most convenient. I try to keep the pantry stocked with staples like canned goods, pasta, and frozen vegetables, so that when mealtime rolls around and I don’t have a plan, I can whip up a tasty dish with ease. We had some leftover spinach and arugula and inspired by an arugula pesto recipe from Kitchen Treaty, I set out to make pesto.
Since arugula has such a strong flavor, the lemon juice and cheese help balance out the flavors. If the arugula taste is still too strong for your liking, add some more dried herbs, lemon juice, and parmesan until you get a good balance. I didn’t have any on hand at the time, but sundried tomatoes would be an excellent addition to this dish.
Pasta with Arugula Pesto and Artichokes
2 cups arugula
1 cup spinach
2-3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon dried herbs of your choice (I used basil and thyme)
cayenne pepper, to taste (optional)
salt & pepper, to taste
1/3 cup nuts, I used a mix of pine nuts and pecans
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 16 ounce can of artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 pound farfalle or pasta of your choice
more pine nuts, for serving
more parmesan cheese, for serving
In a medium to large stock pot, bring water to a boil. Once boiling, add pasta and cook according to package directions.
Meanwhile, start the pesto. Pack spinach and arugula into a food processor, drop in the garlic, dried herbs, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper, add the lemon juice, parmesan, nuts. Pulse while slowly drizzling in the olive oil. Give the pesto a taste and adjust to your liking. If you find the pesto is too thick, add a tablespoon or two of water.
When the pasta is ready, drain it and return it to the pot. Mix in the artichokes and pesto, ladle into bowls and serve with extra nuts and cheese.