Spaghetti with Arugula-Mint Pesto
Also known as rocket, arugula is a pleasantly peppery green that has been grown along the Mediterranean since Roman times. Here, arugula and fresh mint are combined to create a sprightly pesto that’s tossed with spaghetti.
- 5 cups packed arugula
- 3/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup shaved aged hard cheese such as Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for sprinkling
- 2 garlic cloves
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
- 1 lb. spaghetti
In a blender, combine the arugula, mint, olive oil, the 1/2 cup cheese, the garlic, lemon zest, salt and pepper and blend until smooth. Stir in 1 Tbs. of the lemon juice. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. Refrigerate the pesto until ready to serve.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente (tender but firm to the bite), 10 to 12 minutes, or according to the package instructions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta and return it to the empty pot.
Toss the pesto with the spaghetti. Thin it out with a small amount of reserved cooking water if needed. Taste, season with salt and pepper, and toss with the remaining 1 Tbs. lemon juice. Divide among warmed serving bowls. Sprinkle cheese over each portion and serve immediately. Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Cooking from the Farmers’ Market, by Tasha DeSerio & Jodi Liano (Weldon Owen, 2010).