A very easy and delicious pasta in an arugula pistachio Pesto and a cherry tomato sauce. The sauce and pesto can be made ahead. Long pastas such as fettuccine work best for this dish, as they get covered by the pesto, and the cherry tomatoes add flavour and texture. The Recipe is adapted from the Gourmet Today Cookbook
Author: Sujata Shukla
4cupsdry fettucine pasta8 oz or 300 gms
16cupswater for cooking pasta4 quarts or 4 litres
1.5tablespoons salt for cooking pasta
1tablespoonNutsThe original recipe calls for Pinenuts. I have used pistachio. Walnuts may be used instead
3.5cupsRocket/ Arugula leaves 2.5 oz
1/4cup extra virgin olive oil
2tablespoonsGrated parmesan cheeseor grated pecorino Romano
1/2teaspoon saltor to taste
For Cherry Tomato Sauce
2tablespoonsextra virgin olive oil
1cupCherry tomatoesabout 12-15 cherry tomatoes about 170 gms
The pesto may be made a day ahead and kept covered in the refrigerator. Next day, bring the pesto to room temperature before adding to the pasta as in instructions below.
1. Toast the nuts (pine nuts or walnuts) in 175 C (350F) for about 7 minutes. Grate the cheese
2. Run the nuts in the food processor till they are finely ground without however becoming a paste.
3. Add leaves and slender stalks of arugula, discarding tough fibrous stalks.
4. Add olive oil, grated cheese, a little of the salt, and puree. The original recipe says puree till almost smooth, so you don't need to make it a fine paste but more like a chutney with some tiny bits and pieces of nuts in it.
Taste and add a little more salt if required.
Transfer to a bowl and set aside till required.
To make Cherry Tomato Sauce
1. Heat a wide pan and add the olive oil (on medium heat, till its hot but not smoking hot).
2. Crush the garlic and add, stirring till it is golden -about 1.5 minutes. Watch out that the garlic doesn't brown. The original recipe advises to discard the garlic, but I have retained it.
3.Add the cherry tomatoes and a little salt, and cook on a low flame. Stir every few minutes, till the tomatoes shrivel a little and begin to collapse. For me it took 15 minutes. Taste and add a little more salt if required.
To cook the fettucine
1. Bring the water to a brisk boil. Add salt and bring it back to a boil.
2. Add the dried fettuccine and cook as per package instructions, till al dente.
3. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot
4. Toss with Arugula Pesto.
5. Transfer to a serving dish and top the pasta with the cherry tomato sauce. Garnish with the grated cheese and serve.