May 27, 2012

Fettuccine with Arugula Almond Parsley Pesto and Feta Cheese

As I write this my fridge is half as full as it was two days ago. I spring-cleaned it. Of food. As I now peak into my organised shelves, I can, for a brief moment, see the jar of homemade pesto, another one of peanut butter I made a while ago, the remains of my tapioca pudding, pieces of assorted doughs that still remain to be used, but, since I can now see them, will come up with a way to use them. Probably alfajores in every possible shape because any sweet dough works in an alfajor emergency.

I'll cherish this feeling since it's short-lived. A refrigerator with enough remaining space to, say, put two different bowls with brioche dough to rise overnight, and a banana chocolate tart that uses up almost a whole shelf because I just made it and needs a few hours to set, is almost an urban legend in my kitchen.
But then, I get to make this pesto, because the arugula and the parsley were both beyond expiration date, and I saw them before they completely perished because I was so disciplined as to clean my fridge. I'm proud of myself.

I can go on forever about the versatility of pesto, but I already did when I posted this pasta salad.
So I'll skip that part, and I guess that you are probably reading this because the title specifies pesto, and I'll guess again that you know perfectly well about it's various uses and how to keep it in a closed jar with a thin layer of olive oil on top so it doesn't turn a disgusting hue of grey. And this has toasted almonds because you know perfectly well nuts always taste best toasted.

Now we'll turn our attention to the food processor. I love my standing mixer to death, but I can, if I badly wanted to, make everything by hand, even the before-mentioned brioche. I just don't want to. But how do you do without your processor. I know I can do my pesto with the mortar and pestle, and my tart doughs by hand, but I really don't want to.

So just put everything in your processor bowl and pulse (or blitz like Nigella). It takes less than the fettuccine to cook. Some cheese on top, torn up with your hands please and you're ready to eat lunch at 5 PM because you skipped it and suddenly found yourself cleaning your refrigerator.
A good bowl of fall pasta in anticipation of the winter. Because it will eventually come. And because I was very hungry.



400g spaghetti 
2 Tbs olive oil
Arugula pesto (recipe below)
200g feta goat cheese
4 Tbs toasted almonds, coarsely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper


In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook pasta until al dente. Drain, add 2 Tbs olive oil and mix. Add pesto and mix well.
Divide between 4 plates, crumble feta cheese on top and sprinkle with chopped almond and freshly ground black pepper.
Serves 4.

loosely adapted from Bon Appetit, March 1996

Note: I make my pesto a bit chunky so I can use it for different things. I can always add extra oil in case I need to.


1 cup parsley leaves, loosely packed
4 cups arugula leaves, loosely packed
½ cup toasted almonds
2 garlic cloves
¼ cup olive oil
Salt and pepper


Put all the ingredients in the bowl of the food processor. Pulse a few times and gradually add the oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Keep covered in the refrigerator.


  1. Paula, what incredible photography, again. It all looks so appetizing...I love pesto too because it is very versatile because you serve it with bread or on pasta or with some grilled meats. You can prepare it in advance or bring as a gift. Your adapted version of the Arugula Almond Parsley Pesto sounds delicious!

  2. Kudos on cleaning out your fridge. This dish looks like an amazing result.

    1. Thanks, it was about time I cleaned it!

  3. This looks like a perfect dinner…your pesto sounds incredible!

    Paula, I've nominated you for a brand new award! Please stop by my blog to "pick it up”. I really enjoy your storytelling!

    1. Thanks Kathy! Your a great blogging friend

  4. This is beautiful! And I think I actually remember reading the recipe in BA in 1996! I had never thought to use arugula in pesto, and it tasted so good and peppery! Thanks for the reminder! ~ David

    1. Arugula pesto is probably my favorite! You should try it.


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