Pasta with Arugula Pesto Recipe

I kind of hate when people go on about how they’re obsessed with this or that, but I’m obsessed with this pasta. I made it last Sunday and again today. Soren loves it as much as I do. He had two servings for dinner! Ben loves it maybe slightly less, but whatever. This and pumpkin soup are my IDGAFoods, which are foods for which I have no fucks to give when someone doesn’t like them as much as I do (Ben’s is breakfast burritos, which I’ve been sick of forever). I’d pretty much eat this once a week for the rest of summer and be totally happy about it.

Pasta with Arugula Pesto


  • 1 cup walnuts (pieces or chopped are ideal)
  • 16 ounces penne
  • 3 cloves garlic, cut into relatively uniform pieces
  • 2/3 to 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, cut into relatively uniform pieces (the good kind) (I always estimate my cheese measurements because I just cut it into cubes and throw it in the food processor)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil
  • 4 cups baby arugula leaves (this equals one 5-ounce package)
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • salt to taste
  • 3 cups grape tomatoes, sliced in half (you probably already know this, but use a bread knife to cut tomatoes)


Put a pot of water on to boil and when it does, prepare the pasta as directed. Toast the walnuts in a dry skillet over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Set aside (I transfer them to a bowl so they don’t get any more toasted and can cool a little.) Throw the garlic into a food processor and process until it’s chopped. Add the Parmesan cheese and process until it’s chopped up into little pieces, which is pretty much the same as grated cheese, only easier. Add the walnuts, olive oil, basil, and arugula to the food processor and process until well blended. If you have a garden-variety Cuisinart like I do, it will take some effort to cram all this stuff in there and you’ll have to move things around with a rubber scraper a few times, but eventually everything will get processed. (Maybe use a blender if you have a fancy one.) Add the milk and process until smooth. Taste and add salt as needed.

Put pasta in a giant bowl, add the sauce and tomatoes, and mix well. Enjoy!

Holy crap this is good.

Sorry for another bad iPhone photo.

This makes a ton, but the good news is that it’s awesome as leftovers. Eat straight from the fridge or warm up a little (I wouldn’t make it super hot) — either way, it’s delicious.

Adapted from Organic Gardening. The original recipe was printed in a little thing I got in the mail promoting the magazine, but I can’t find it on their website.

Note: I updated this recipe to change evaporated milk to whole milk.