Arugula Pesto Pasta

This is a great weeknight recipe. It is quick, tasty and makes enough for leftovers for lunch the next day; what else could one ask for. It is a twist on one of my sister’s favourite meals, one which she has made for me many times. One thing I like about the dish is that it combines pasta with a raw leafy green (arugula) giving it a nice texture juxtaposition. It is good both hot and cold, so don’t fret too much if ingredients cool down while preparing everything. 

Active time: 25 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 red bell peppers
  • ⅓ cup pine nuts
  • 300g whole wheat spaghetti
  • ½ large red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 ½ cups chickpeas, rinsed
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ⅓-½ cup pesto
  • 5 oz box arugula
  • Parmesan, to taste
  • Olive oil, for cooking
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • Lemon, optional

Directions

  1. First we will roast the red bell peppers. Preheat the oven to 425F. Cut the bell peppers in half and remove the stems and the viens. Toss them with a tbsp of olive oil, assuring to coat both the inside and the outside of the peppers with a layer of oil. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and cook for 20 minutes. Once ready, set aside until plating. 
  2. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook your spaghetti to package instructions and set aside. Be sure not to dump all the pasta water, set some aside to add moisture to the dish if necessary. 
  3. Next, heat a large saucepan on medium low heat. To the saucepan add the pine nuts. Toast until they are beginning to turn golden, tossing them often, this should take about 5 minutes. 
  4. Once the pine nuts have been toasted, add a half tbsp olive oil and cook the red onions. When they begin to turn translucent press the garlic into them. Cook for 2-3 minutes until fragrant and add in the chickpeas and cook until everything is hot. 
  5. Add the pasta back to the pot it cooked in and add the chickpeas and the pesto. Toss to combine evenly. If it is a bit dry add in some of the reserved pasta water. 
  6. Time to plate, in a large bowl add a handful of arugula. Add the pasta over the arugula and lastly add two bell pepper halves. Finish it off with the toasted pine nuts, parmesan, freshly cracked pepper and optionally a squeeze of lemon juice. Enjoy!

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