Thursday, June 18, 2015

Arugula Pesto Pasta with Homemade Pesto Sauce

I love a quick and easy weeknight meal. And this one is pretty much a regular in my house. I originally found this recipe for Arugula Pesto Pasta from an old Trader Joe's cookbook. Don't you just love Trader Joe's?! I'm still bitter that there isn't one close by me, but don't even get me started on that. As soon as I run into one I promise I'm buying up the whole store. Any who...This is such a forgiving meal I've made it with different types of pasta shells, sausage brands, and even store bought pesto. After I learned how to make pesto I'll never buy it again. Nothing beats a good fresh homemade pesto sauce.

Pesto Sauce:

3 cups Fresh Basil (or fresh spinach/parsley) Note: I've used half basil/parsley or spinach/parsley and it's still good.
1/2 cup toasted Pine Nuts (or slivered almonds/walnuts)
1/2 fresh grated Parmesan Cheese
1 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3-4 cloves of garlic
Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Combine all ingredients in food processor or blender and blend until well combined.

What's good about pesto is you could freeze it in ice cube trays and use at a later date. Pesto is excellent on grilled meat, pizza, bruschetta just about anything to add flavor. 

Arugula Pesto Pasta:

12 oz (1/2 bag or box) Pasta (any type of pasta shell will do)
1 (16 oz) pkg. of Chicken or Turkey Sausage (any fully cooked brand sausage)
3-4 heaping Tbsp. Pesto Sauce
3.5 oz (1/2 bag) Arugula
Fresh Grated Parmesan Cheese

  • Cook pasta according to package directions. 
  • While pasta is cooking slice the sausage and pan-fry in lightly oiled pan till browned. 
  • Once pasta is cooked drain. Add cooked pasta into pan that sausage was cooked in. 
  • Add pesto sauce until pasta is well coated then add arugula. The heat from the pasta will slightly wilt the arugula. 
  • Toss all ingredients until well combined and serve with fresh Parmesan Cheese.

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