Arugula Pea Pesto Pasta

Arugula Pea Pesto Pasta

We all know I’ll do pretty much anything to avoid making a salad… this recipe was one of those things. For some reason, as long as lettuce isn’t in leaf form I’m all about it. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good salad out at a restaurant, especially if its properly seasoned. The reality is that it takes a million and one ingredients, plus time and technique to really craft a good salad with the love and respect it deserves. So here I am, throwing stuff in a food processor 🙂

I love these kind of meals that are packed with green veggies, but feel far from eating a salad. My whole goal with this blog is to write recipes that are healthy, yet comforting. I think this recipe is my mascot!

Whenever I don’t know what to make, I just walk into Wegman’s and grab whatever looks good. And boy, was this arugula a sight for sore eyes. Wegman’s is probably my favorite grocery store. It’s more reasonably priced than whole foods, and for the most part their generic branded products are great!

One of the most important parts of this recipe is how I season it. By slicing the shallots relatively thinly and salting them, it exposes the maximum amount of surface area and allows the salt to do its job. It breaks the shallot down a bit, releasing and magnifying its flavor. This is a trick I learned when I worked as a line cook at this amazing restaurant in Cleveland a few years back. This technique is really only helpful in raw applications. If you’re going to cook the shallots, it does the same thing the salt does too. I use the same technique for all my homemade salad dressings as well!

Another tip: when you think you are done blending, blend some more! Just like in makeup. A few extra minutes in the food processor allows the sauce to get way creamier, so you don’t need to add nearly as much olive oil.

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Arugula Pea Pesto Pasta

May 30, 2018
: 4
: 30 min
: Easy

It's all about layering the flavors in this arugula pea pesto. Shallot replace the traditional garlic, to give this creamy, healthy sauce some depth.


  • 2 shallots
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups peas, fresh or thawed
  • 1 cup baby arugula
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 box rotini pasta, cooked (I use Banza brand)
  • Heirloom cherry tomatoes and additional arugula for garnish
  • Step 1 Thinly slice the shallots, then sprinkle them with the salt. Let them rest and release their flavor for a minute or longer.
  • Step 2 Add your peas, baby arugula, basil, walnuts, shallots, garlic powder, red pepper flake and black pepper into a food processor and blend.
  • Step 3 Add the water, blend some more. Stream in the olive oil while the motor is running. Let it blend for 2 more minutes.
  • Step 4 Toss the pesto with the pasta. Check for seasoning, then serve over additional arugula and garnished with heirloom cherry tomatoes.

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