I’ve got your next weeknight meal covered with this fresh and seasonal Arugula Pesto Pasta with Ricotta Cheese.
Pasta is my go-to easy dinner and it’s on rotation at least once a week. I never follow a recipe, but just throw vegetables and pasta together in a bowl with some olive oil and herbs, and maybe some cream. Sometimes there’s meat involved. I top it all with some cheese and freshly ground black pepper and voila!, dinner is served in under 30 minutes.
And if I’m really pressed for time the pasta just gets a simple toss with the pesto I have stored in my freezer, made fresh from my garden last fall.
We’re getting ready to plant our garden and I have plans for a big bush of basil, just like last summer. But it’s not summer just yet and basil is still pretty costly at the grocery store.
What is in season right now are greens like arugula, spinach and kale, all of which make great pesto too. With a busy week ahead (no time for elaborate meals), a hankering for pesto and a big bunch of arugula leftover in my fridge, it was a no-brainer.
I’m not sure why basil gets all of the pesto glory, I like the combination of arugula, walnuts, parmesan cheese, garlic and olive oil just as much. Maybe even a little bit better, it definitely is a fun change-up.
You can’t beat the flavor of hot pasta + fresh pesto. A little creamy ricotta cheese is the last piece of the puzzle to a fabulous and easy weeknight meal that’s sure to repeat week after week!
Arugula Pesto Pasta with Ricotta Cheese
For the Pesto:
- 2 cups arugula , packed (50 grams)
- ½ cup walnuts , chopped (55 grams)
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese , grated (50 grams)
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ⅓-½ cup olive oil (80-120 ml)
For the Pasta:
- 1 lb capellini or angel hair pasta (455 grams)
- 3-4 tablespoons pesto
- ½ cup ricotta cheese (120 grams)
- To make the pesto, combine the arugula, walnuts, parmesan cheese, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor. With the food processor running, slowly add the olive oil until the mixture is your desired consistency. You can make it as thin or thick as you like.
- To prepare the pasta, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the capellini or angel hair pasta and cool until al dente.
- Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water. Toss the pasta with a few tablespoons of the pesto. Add pasta water if necessary to moisten the pesto. Add the ricotta cheese and toss until incorporated.
- Serve immediately. Garnish with arugula, if desired.