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Pasta with Arugula Pesto

Photo: Johnny Miller; Styling: Erin Swift
Prep time 10 mins
Cook time 14 mins
Yield Makes 4 servings
Pasta with Arugula Pesto takes on a peppery flavor as arugula replaces basil in the sauce. This pasta dish is perfect for weeknights as it's ready in less than 25 minutes.


  • 3 cups (about 3 ounces) lightly packed baby arugula
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted if desired
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced and divided
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 (16-ounce) package angel hair pasta or spaghetti
  • 4 small tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 6 ounces fresh mozzarella, pulled apart into pieces

How to Make It

  1. Combine first 3 ingredients and 1 sliced garlic clove in a food processor or blender; pulse until coarsely chopped. Add lemon juice and 2 tablespoons olive oil, and pulse to form a thick paste. Season to taste with kosher salt and black pepper. Set aside.

  2. Prepare pasta according to package directions. Cover and keep warm.

  3. Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add remaining 2 garlic cloves; cook 1 minute. Add tomatoes and kosher salt and black pepper to taste; cook 3 to 5 minutes or until tomatoes are tender but hold their shape.

  4. Toss hot pasta with reserved arugula pesto. Top with mozzarella, and serve with sautéed tomatoes.