Utilitarian Green Pasta

I can’t remember the last time I posted a recipe. I could give all sorts of reasons – a change in career, traveling etc. After spending over a decade working in education I have shifted gears to work with Rob and spend more time organizing and facilitating the camps we love so much. I also traveled a lot this winter – Rob and spent three weeks in Europe skiing, and I spent time visiting family, so I haven’t been home all that much. I was cooking purely utilitarian meals – what to get on table quickly or with minimal effort, and it felt well-uninspired. But then I realized that everyone goes through these phases – and in those moments it’s especially nice to learn a few more go to no brainer recipes. This recipe wraps in some of my comfort foods – pasta and cheese. The tomatoes are a staple for us and a great way to use up small tomatoes a little past their prime. This preparation is so easy, and finds its way into lots of different meals. Arugula is also hands down one of my favorite greens, and the emerald color in this dish is just divine. I don’t really call it a pesto because more than anything it is an awful lot of arugula ground up. Minus the dishes (may you all be gifted a dish fairy like Rob) this can be ready in 30 minutes – less if you don’t live at altitude and water takes forever to boil.

Arugula “Pesto” Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes & Ricotta

  • 1-2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes chopped in half
  • 1.5 tablespoons olive oilIMG_1760
  • 1 pound penne
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 5-6 big handfuls of arugula
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup almond oil ( or substitute olive oil)
  • 6 oz while milk ricotta
  • Extra 1-2 cups arugula to serve
  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Combine tomatoes,olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste and roast until wrinkly and slightly brown about 20 minutes
  3. Meanwhile place a big pot of water on  the stove for the pasta
  4. IMG_1763Puree garlic and walnuts in a food processor with the salt, add arugula and continue to combine until you form a fine paste
  5. Add oil slowly until combined, stir in nutritional yeast and lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste
  6. Pour arugula “pesto” into a bowl and set aside
  7. Cook pasta until al dente, reserve 1/2 cup pasta water and drain
  8. Stir hot pasta into arugula, scrape tomatoes and oil into bowl and stir gently – add pasta water if necessary to coat pasta
  9. Add ricotta on top in spoonfuls, add extra arugula, adjust seasoning as desired

IMG_1764

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