Traditional pesto is made with pine nuts and basil. While pine nuts are tasty, they're pretty expensive. And to be honest, there are other nuts that I prefer—like pecans. And depending on the season, basil can be hard to find for a reasonable price—plus I prefer the peppery bite that arugula adds. If you're bored with traditional pesto, this recipe adds an interesting twist.
- Parmigiano-Reggiano (½ cup grated)
- Olive oil (½ cup)
- Arugula (5 oz)
- Pecans (½ cup)
- Salt (1 tsp)
- Pepper (½ tsp)
- Food processor (mine on Amazon)
1. Toast the nuts
The first step is to toast the pecans:
- Preheat an oven to 350°.
- Spread the pecans (½ cup) on a sheet pan and bake for 15 minutes. (More than ½ cup of pecans are pictured here—I toast more than I need, and then save the rest for breakfast, snacks, and so on.)
- Once the pecans have baked, let them cool for 5 minutes.
2. Blend the pesto
Once you've toasted the nuts and let them cool, blend the ingredients in a food processor:
- To a food processor, add:
• Toasted pecans (½ cup)
• Parmigiano-Reggiano (½ cup grated)
• Olive oil (½ cup)
• Arugula (5 oz)
• Pecans (½ cup)
• Salt (1 tsp)
• Pepper (½ tsp)
- Then blend the pesto.
Note If you don't have a food processor, you can also make the pesto by finely chopping and then mixing the ingredients.
3. Combine with pasta
While you can use this pesto for a variety of other recipes (as sauce on pizza, spread on sandwiches, and so on), it goes well with pasta:
- Stir about half of the pesto into cooked pasta (12 oz).