Looking to give pasta night an easy, fresh and fabulous upgrade?! Make this Arugula Pesto Pasta recipe! Loaded with mozzarella pearls, cherry tomatoes and sweet basil, it's a delicious and light vegetarian dish the whole family will love! Serve it plain or top it with chicken, shrimp, fish or steak for a more substantial meal. Either way, it’s bursting with flavor and guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser!Recipe can be scaled up or down by using the slider if you hover your mouse over the number of Servings.
9-10ouncesCocktail Tomatoes(can substitute Cherry or Grape Tomatoes)
8ozMozzarella Pearls(can substitute burrata, torn into bite sized pieces
1/3CupBasil– roughly chopped
Sea Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper
1/3CupPine Nuts- plus more for garnish
2 ½CupsArugula- packed - plus more for garnish
2/3CupPecorino Romano– grated, plus more for garnish
1 ½tspLemon Juice
½CupExtra Virgin Olive Oil
Make the Arugula-Pesto: In the bowl of a food processor, combine the garlic and pine nuts. Process until finely chopped. Add the arugula, pecorino and lemon juice. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Process until coarsely chopped.
With the processor running, slowly add in the olive oil in a steady stream. Process until smooth. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in salted water and cook until al dente according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta cooking water and transfer to a large bowl.
Toss pasta: Add the arugula pesto to bowl with pasta along with 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water. Toss to coat, adding more water as necessary to create a silky sauce.
Add the basil to the pasta along with half of the mozzarella and tomatoes. Toss again until combined.
Serve: Divide pasta between serving bowls and top with remaining mozzarella and tomatoes. Garnish with additional arugula, pine nuts and pecorino if desired. Serve.
Pasta: I used bucatini pasta because its thick, spaghetti-like texture holds up great with the pesto, but feel free to use whatever pasta tickles your fancy.
Pesto Yield: The arugula pesto recipe below will make enough for 1 pound of pasta, which is enough to feed 4-6 people. If you are looking to feed less mouths, simply halve the recipe.
Pesto Storage: The pesto will keep in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 2 weeks. But, be sure to give it a good stir before using.
FYI: The pesto pasta with burrata tastes seriously scrumptious cold the next day, so making enough for leftovers is highly encouraged.
If you want to roast the tomatoes:Place tomatoes on baking sheet and drizzle with1 tablespoon olive oil. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Roast in oven for 18-20 minutes, or until tomatoes are very juicy, but not broken down.
Nutritional information is an approximation based upon 4 servings. Exact information will depend upon the brands of ingredients and precise measurements used.