California Central Coast Recipes
Arugula and Sun-dried Tomatoes Pesto
If you arugula and sun-dried tomatoes as much as I do, this pesto is so ridiculously easy to make and delicious, you'll want to find more opportunities to make it. The trick is finding a good quality sun-dried tomato to use. You can use some dry sun-dried tomatoes that have been rehydrated with boiling water and let them absorb the water for an hour or so. But better yet if you find a good-tasting extra-virgin olive oil packed version, you're all set to make this quick great-tasting meal in no time at all.
Preparation time: 10 minutesCooking time: 7 minutes
3/4 cup Sun-dried tomatoes in extra virgin olive oil or rehydrated dry sun-dried tomatoes ,drained and cut in quarters
2 medium Garlic cloves , crushed
1/4 teaspoons Red Pepper flakes
1/3 to 1/2 cup Extra virgin olive oil
3 cups fresh Arugula , coarsely chopped plus a few extra whole leaves for garnish
1/2 pound Thin spaghetti
Salt to taste
Parmesan cheese , grated for the table
1 On a separate burner, fill a pasta pot with hot water and heat over high heat in preparation for cooking the pasta.
2 In the meantime, add the drained sun-dried tomatoes, the crushed garlic and the red pepper flakes to a medium-sized food processor or blender.
3 Process for fifteen seconds. Scrap down the sides of the bowl and then add in the olive oil through the top while steadily processing the mixture for just a few seconds.
4 Add the salt and correct seasoning to personal taste.
5 When the mixture is the right consistency, transfer the mixture to a separate bowl large enough to accommodate the pasta as well. Set aside.
6 Wash the arugula well and then drain and blot dry. Coarsely chop it all, reserving a few whole leaves for garnish on the top of each plate.
7 When the water comes to a boil, add about one tablespoon of salt per half pound pasta. Add the pasta to the salted boiling water, stir well and cook as directed on package, stirring often.
8 When the pasta is al dente, take off heat and drain well. Transfer pasta to the separate bowl with the mixture and toss well to distribute the pesto mixture evenly throughout the pasta.
9 Then add the chopped arugula and toss again to distribute the arugula throughout the pasta mixture.
10 Serve on individual dinner plates, topping each pasta mound with a couple whole arugula leaves. Serve immediately.
11 If so desired, have grated Parmesan cheese available at the table.
A Fume Blanc or a simple Chardonnay would go well with this as well as a simple low-tannin red wine like a Malbec.