Wednesday, November 12, 2014

What to do when you accidentally buy a kilo of arugula...

... which is basically a full-sized trash bag of arugula, so I'm not sure exactly how that happens...

Nevertheless, there we were, with a truly astonishing amount of "roquette" on our hands. I decided to make the best of it (after first eating a dozen handfuls straight from the bag) and opted to make gallons of arugula pesto before the arugula went mushy and brown in the bottom of the fridge.

After brief investigation, I found this recipe, which in true "Christina Salway" fashion, I altered to accommodate the ingredients I had in the apartment. Because I was damned if I was going to go buy more food just to deal with the ludicrous amount of arugula we now own.

Nutty Arugula Pesto with Penne and Parmesan

*So right off the bat, I tripled this recipe. Let me be clear. We have SOOOOOO MUCCCCHHHH arugula. I could make this recipe three more times and still invite you all over for salad. 

Serves 6 to 8
1 1/2 cups arugula
3/4 cup chopped fresh basil
3/4 cup toasted walnuts 
*And then, of course, I only had hazelnuts. So in went the hazelnuts. 
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, quartered
1 lemon, zested and juiced (about about 2 tablespoons juice) *Yeah. I confess. I only had bottled lemon juice. So I put in 3 T. and skipped the zest. I'm a kitchen nightmare. 
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to salt pasta water
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan, plus extra to serve
Freshly ground black pepper, to season
1 pound penne pasta *Lastly, I splurged and used some cool strozzapretti-esque noodles that I'd bought earlier in the week. I kind of don't understand why anyone buys penne when there are so many weird shaped noodles out there. 
In the bowl of a food processor, blend arugula, basil, toasted walnuts hazelnuts, olive oil, garlic, lemon zest and juice, salt and a few grinds of pepper until well combined and smooth. Feel free to add extra olive oil if the pesto feels too thick or chunky.
Place a large pot of salted water over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Add pasta  and to cook to al dente. Drain and place back in pot.  Fold in pesto. Serve hot in your favorite bowls with a generous sprinkling of Parmesan over the top of each bowl. 
So easy. So quick. Now I just have to figure out what to do with 2-gallons of pesto. 

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