Arugula Pesto Pasta – Easy Summer Recipe

5 from 1 vote

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A bowl of pasta with pesto.Arugula Pesto Pasta is a dish that’s been on my radar for about 2 weeks. We’ve had a busy summer and although I knew I wanted to make this meatless summer dish, I honestly wasn’t sure if I was in the mood for cooking anything this mid-July afternoon. I can’t tell you how happy I went ahead with this one nor can I convey to you how wonderful this dish tastes.

A bowl of food on a table, with Pesto and ArugulaAbout this

Nothing says summer like fresh pesto. Aside from summer, pesto evokes thoughts of basil, pine nuts, olive oil and maybe a little extra salt and pepper. There isn’t any basil in this pesto and as much as I love fresh basil, it is not missed at all. The arugula lends its own solid character and creates a new and very enjoyable summer-filled pesto.

A bowl of pasta salad on a plate, with Pesto

This is possibly the best thing I’ve made all summer. I can’t deny that I loved the Balsamic MushroomPizza we threw together a few days ago. Yet this Arugula Pesto Pasta is different. A wooden spoon with some grilled eggplant.

Once in a while, not every day, a new dish will  really wow me. It creates an indelible impression on my palate and in my mind. It represents the best of the season and becomes inextricably associated with the time and season that I experienced it. Last summer’s most memorable dish for me was our Sweet and Savory Grilled Eggplant. It was a new sensation and it’s the dish that I recall from last summer.

I think I just may discovered this summer’s honoree in this Arugula Pesto Pasta. Light green in color with a mellow background of nuts and pepper, this dish is a veritable celebration of the summer season.

A bowl of pesto pasta.

My first forkful of this Arugula Pesto Pasta told me it was a winner. The peppery arugula balances the toasted pine nuts and both play off the Parmesan cheese in a 3-dimentional taste sensation. In the background there are hints of garlic, salt, and everything is held together but a high quality extra-virgin olive oil.  As I savored the moment, I could feel each of these components stimulate the different taste buds throughout my palate. Truly, a summer party on my tongue.

A bowl of pasta.

There aren’t a lot of ingredients in this Arugula Peso Pasta and there isn’t a lot of expense. In fact, this meal can be put together for five or six bucks providing,  maximum flavor for minimal effort and minimal expense. As I was having my private moment with this dish, it occurred to me that other than our readers, eateries need to put this on their summer menu now. If you know of restauranteur (or you are one  yourself,) urge them to make this an offering, without delay. It’s an amazing dish you really need to try for yourself.  Happy Summer.  -Dan

A bowl of pesto pasta.



Other delicious pasta recipes

Arugula Pesto Pasta

5 from 1 vote
Adapted from Williams Sonoma
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Yield: 8 servings


  • 1 lb. pasta
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 3 cups packed arugula
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • juice from 1/2 fresh lemon
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste


  • Using food processor, combine garlic and pine nuts and pulse-process until ground.
  • Add arugula and Parmesan cheese, process while gradually adding olive oil to desired consistency.
  • Stir in lemon juice and salt and pepper.
  • Prepare pasta as directed.
  • Drain pasta, stir in pesto, garnish with additional arugula and Parmesan cheese if desired.


Calories: 421kcal, Carbohydrates: 44g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 24g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Sodium: 42mg, Potassium: 179mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 178IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 25mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Entree
Cuisine: Italian
Tried this recipe?Mention @plattertalk or tag #plattertalk!

Meet the Platter Talk Guys

Dan & Scott split their time between Wisconsin and Southwest Florida and are dads to six boys. Good food runs through their veins, and they love showing others how to cook easy recipes.

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  1. I love a great pesto dish! I cam making some this week! Thanks for linking up to Saucy Saturdays!

  2. That’s a beautiful pasta Dish! 🙂 There’s nothing quite as fresh and delicious as a fresh herby pasta meal!
    I love that you used arugula in the pesto too!
    Thank you so much for sharing this with us at #SaucySaturdays!

  3. 5 stars
    After seeing this one on FB, I had to come and check it out. This new spin on pesto with my favorite salad green is genius. Peppery and when tossed with the lemon and the Parmesan cheese… heavenly!

  4. I love making and using any type of pesto, its so easy and really a very frugal dish, plus it beats a tomato sauce pasta any day of the week!

    1. Thanks, Brian; I agree on all of these points, particularly after enjoying this dish as a mid-summer meal!

  5. I’ve been thinking about trying arugula pesto…I actually picked up some arugula up at my CSA today too! It looks delicious and my goal is to have as much pesto in the freezer as possible by the end of the summer so we can enjoy it all winter long!

  6. This looks divine. Love using the arugula in the pesto! This is definitely a flavorful dish I have to try soon 🙂

    1. Thanks so much Brittany,it’s always fun to try new twists on old standards, I think you’ll like this one. It’s so nice to hear from you!

  7. What a cool idea, Dan! I love arugula, and I love pesto, so I can imagine that I’d be wow’d by this pasta too. It certainly looks incredible. I just want a bite of that spaghetti and toasted garlic bread – YUM!!!

    1. Thanks so much Beeta; I’ve always liked arugula but now I love it in a whole new way! Great to hear from you, as always!