No matter the level of craziness a day or week may take on, I always prefer having a delicious, healthy, interesting home-cooked meal over ordering in or surviving off the NYC coffee diet. This can easily be achieved using a few simple, straightforward ingredients. One 10 minute trip outside the office for dinner inspiration led to this deliciously fresh tasting take on the traditional pesto, using arugula instead of basil, adding just the “pop” needed to get through the work week one healthy, simple meal at a time. This recipe can be prepared using a food processor, as I did, or using a mortar and pestle.
Ingredients: (serves 2)
2 bunches arugula (you can use baby arugula or mature)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (I used Zoe California Extra Virgin)
2 cloves garlic
Parmesan cheese (optional)
Dried Pasta (I used 1/3 box of Barilla Cellentani pasta)
Fresh ground black pepper
1. Thoroughly wash the arugula and dry. If using a mortar and pestle, chop the arugula and garlic as fine as you can. If using a food processor, as I did, load it with the arugula, garlic, the juice of 1/2 a lemon, a pinch of salt and few grinds of pepper.
2. If using a mortar and pestle, start grinding away! For the food processor fans, sprinkle some olive oil on top of the ingredients to add a tiny bit of moisture before closing up and starting the machine. Add parmesan cheese if you like. Once the processor has started blending the ingredients, add olive oil as needed.
3. Be sure to taste the pesto often as you blend, adding salt, pepper, cheese and more lemon juice to your liking. Once the pesto is singing to your taste buds, stop the food processor and set aside.
4. Boil water with a pinch of salt and a splash of olive oil in it for the pasta. Add the pasta once the water is at a rolling boil. Cook till al dente, drain. Mix with pesto in a large bowl, making sure the pasta is evenly coated. Shave parmesan on top and MANGIA!