Fresh rocket pesto recipe - an easy sauce for pasta
Freshly made rocket pesto sauce just can't be beaten for flavour and freshness, and it is so quick and easy to prepare. Rocket gives the sauce a lovely zingy peppery flavour, compared to the more common basil pesto. It is a wonderful sauce simply to swirl into your favourite pasta, or can be used to season pizzas, pies and vegetable dishes.
Rocket (or arugula, as it is also known) is a very fast growing salad crop, which shoots up in the spring and early summer, grows really fast and then goes to seed within a few weeks, so this recipe is a great way to use it all up while it is fresh, and it is a wonderful seasonal recipe.
- A large handful (about 2 oz or 50 g) fresh rocket or arugula leaves
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic
- salt and pepper
- Wash and drain the rocket leaves. Freshly picked leaves are best if you are lucky enough to have some in your garden. Peel and crush the garlic.
- Put the pine nuts, crushed garlic, rocket leaves and olive oil into a blender and sprinkle with salt and black pepper.
- Whizz everything up in the blender for about a minute until you have a smooth paste, Don't overdo it, and don't worry about a few large pieces of pine nut left in the paste, they will add to the texture. And that's it - your pesto sauce is ready! All that remains to be done is to cook up some of your favourite pasta to serve it with.
A little pesto goes a long way, as it has quite a concentrated flavour, so this quantity should be enough to stir into around six servings of pasta. It can also be used to flavour other dishes.
My favourite method of serving is to stir the sauce into warm, just-cooked pasta, sprinkle with a few toasted pine nuts and grate some hard cheese, such as parmesan, pecorino or cheddar cheese on top. Lovely!
If you have any left over it will keep for up to a week in the fridge.