Penne with Creamy Arugula Ricotta Pesto

By CozyDelicious
March 13, 2011
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Author Notes: We love both the intense, fresh flavor and the hearty healthiness of this pesto. It's a really flexible recipe and you can play with the ingredients here - substitute spinach for the arugula if you like, or almonds for the walnuts if you happen to have them on hand. CozyDelicious

Serves: 6

  • 1 pound whole wheat penne
  • 6 ounces fresh baby arugula
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, toasted
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Cook the pasta until al dente in boiling salted water. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup pasta cooking water.
  2. Meanwhile, rinse the arugula and place in a large skillet over low heat. Cover and steam 2 minutes (the water remaining on the leaves is enough moisture).
  3. Put the arugula, basil, walnuts, parmesan, garlic, and ricotta in a food prcessor, along with 2 tablespoons of the pasta cooking water. Whir until smooth, adding more water to thin if desired.
  4. Toss the pasta with the pesto and top with additional parmesan cheese if desired.

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