Arugula Pesto Pasta

Time for November’s Secret Recipe Club! This month I was assigned to K&K Test Kitchen, a blog run by a mother-daughter pair where they document the results from recipes they have collected over the years.
Secret Recipe ClubPesto seems to make everything better. And with the ease at which it can be made, all kinds of variations have popped up. Since I had yet to try pesto made with arugula I decided to try it out, despite the copious amount of regular pesto I have stocked up in my freezer. The peppery bite of the arugula was a great change from traditional pesto and I especially loved the addition of sun-dried tomatoes. I am very glad that there is some leftover from this recipe to use later on.

Check out some more great K&K Kitchen recipes such as Blueberry Quinoa Breakfast Salad, and Tart Cranberry Doughnut Glaze to use up any leftover cranberry from Thanksgiving.

Two years ago: Caramel Apple Pie

ARUGULA PESTO PASTA

Serves 4

Ingredients:

PESTO

4 cups arugula

3 cloves garlic

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan

1/2 cup walnut pieces

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

PASTA

1/2 pound whole wheat linguini

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a glass baking dish with a bit of cooking spray or lightly coat with olive oil, set aside.
  2. To make the pesto, prepare an ice water bath in a large bowl, and bring a large pot of water to a boil. Put the arugula in a large sieve and plunge it into the boiling water. Immediately immerse all the arugula and stir so that it blanches evenly. Blanch for about 15 seconds. Remove (leaving the water boiling), shake off the excess water, then plunge the arugula into the ice water bath and stir again so it cools as fast as possible. Drain well.
  3. Squeeze the water out of the arugula with your hands until very dry. Roughly chop the arugula and put in a blender. Add the garlic, salt and pepper to taste, and walnuts. Blend for at least 30 seconds. Add the olive oil and blend. Then, add the cheese and pulse to combine. (The pesto will keep several days in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator.)
  4. Place the chicken in the dish and spread 1 to 2 tablespoons of pesto on top of each chicken breast. Bake for 30 minutes.
  5. While the chicken is cooking, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until it is al dente. Drain and reserve 1/2 cup of cooking water.  Put the pasta back into the pot, along with 1/2 cup (or more if you prefer) arugula pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, and the cooking water.  Stir well to combine.  Serve with the cooked and sliced pesto chicken.  Reserve the rest of the pesto for dipping bread or as a spread for sandwiches.

Source: K&K Test Kitchen




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