Pesto isn’t just made from basil. Try this peppery arugula pesto pasta with sundried-tomatoes and chicken. Serve with your favorite roasted veggies and garlic bread.
Time for November’s Secret Recipe Club! This month I was assigned to K&K Test Kitchen (no longer live), a blog run by a mother-daughter pair where they document the results from recipes they have collected over the years.
Pesto 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 out their arugula pesto pasta recipe, despite the copious amount of basil pesto I have stocked up in my freezer.
The best part about this arugula pesto pasta is how quickly it comes together. First you quickly blanche the arugula before making the pesto. Then use that same boiling water to cook your pasta while the chicken cooks in the oven. If you have room in the oven, make roasted Brussels sprouts on another pan for your side dish.
The peppery bite of the arugula was a great change from the most common basil pesto and I especially loved the addition of sun-dried tomatoes. This arugula pesto recipe will make more pesto than you use but you will be very glad that there is some leftover to use later on other dishes or just spread it on your garlic bread!
Two years ago: Caramel Apple Pie
- 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
- 1 lb. whole wheat linguini
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied
- 1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
- 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.
- Squeeze the water out of the arugula with your hands until very dry then put in a blender or food processor. Add the garlic, parmesan, salt and pepper to taste, and walnuts. Blend for at least 30 seconds. Add the olive oil and blend. (The pesto will keep several days in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator.)
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Place the chicken in a lightly greased glass baking dish and spread 1 to 2 tablespoons of pesto on top of each chicken breast. Bake for 20 minutes or until an instant read thermometer reads 165F.
- 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.
Source: K&K Test Kitchen