Arugula Pesto Pasta Recipe

Arugula Pesto Pasta Recipe Recipe

Good bye 2011, hello 2012! I'd like to wish the happiest of New Years to you and yours. Ours is starting off great with my little baby girl. That also means new resolutions and mine this year is to lose all the baby weight. I'm determined to be healthy after 9 months of indulging in decadent meals. To start off on the right foot, today I made a healthy pesto pasta using arugula, sunflower seeds and Parmesan cheese. I love cooking with arugula; it tastes like a cross between mustard and hazelnut with a hint of pepper. It’s a nutritious meal that is healthy and filling.

For everyone out there starting off the year with a weight-loss resolution, best of luck!



Yields: 6 servings

16 ounces elbow macaroni pasta, cooked (save some of the water when draining the pasta)
½ cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 lemon, freshly squeezed
½ cup olive oil, as needed
1 red onion, finely diced
8 ounces arugula
3 tablespoons sunflower seeds
1-½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly cracked
½ cup black sesame and sunflower cookies, crumbled


For the arugula pesto: In a blender (or a mini-food prep if you have one), combine the arugula, lemon juice, 1 clove of garlic, sunflower seeds, Parmesan cheese and 6 tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. You might want to add about 2 tablespoons (or more) of water for a smooth flow. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

How to caramelize onions: Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a non-stick pan. Add the red onion. Cook over medium-low heat for about 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent the onion from burning, until the color is evenly golden brown. To save time, I often have already-caramelized onions on hand in the freezer. I suggest making them in advance in large batches.

Assembly time:
In a large non-stick pan, heat some olive oil. Add the remaining garlic and 2 tablespoons caramelized red onions and cook until golden and fragrant. Add the cooked elbow pasta and toss for about 2 minutes. If the pasta starts sticking to the bottom, add a little pasta water. Turn off the heat and add the arugula pesto. Mix until the pasta is well coated. Sprinkle with the black sesame and sunflower cookies for added crunch. Check seasoning. Add more salt if necessary.

Garnish with whole arugula leaves, more sunflowers seed cookies, the rest of the caramelized red onions and Parmesan shavings.

Serve immediately.

Bon appétit!

pesto pasta recipe with Picture


You can find black sesame and sunflower cookies in most Korean markets.

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on January 2, 2012.


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