Prep 20 mins
Cook 20 mins
A lovely green and nutty dish – the addition of halved cherry tomatoes makes this a colorful tasty vegetarian meal or side dish!
- 6 1⁄2 ounces macadamia nuts
- 4 ounces fresh basil (about 1 cup packed)
- 7 ounces baby arugula (about 3 cups packed)
- 1 cup ricotta cheese (part skim)
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 lb cavatappi pasta
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread Macadamia nuts on small jelly roll pan (or similar) and roast in the oven for 5 – 10 minutes, stirring every 2-3 minutes. Watch closely so they do not brown too much, remove from oven when golden brown and let cool. Cook pasta according to manufacturer’s directions (boil approximately 10 minutes). Meanwhile in a food processor, pack in the basil, the arugula and the nuts and process until well pureed (I had to start with half the greens and nuts and once it pureed a bit, added the rest.). Add the ricotta to the food processor and blend until well mixed. Drain the pasta and toss with the pureed mix and the halved cherry tomatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste and toss again.
- Note – traditional pesto often has garlic added but I have a food sensitivity to garlic. Feel free to experiment by adding garlic, but first try it as listed above, it has a lovely fresh nutty greens taste to it!
I am really torn on how to rate this recipe: While I LOVED the idea of this and also the combination of ingredients, I really did not like the way the arugula's bitterness overpowered the taste of everything else. The pasta was so lovely and creamy with the pesto and the cherry tomatoes went great with it, giving a burst of crisp freshness, but in the end we all could not finish our bowls as the pesto was too bitter for us. Had it used only a handful of arugula in combination with basil, Im sure we would all have had seconds and it would be a perfect 5 star recipe, that would be added to our routine. Like this however, its not for us...
THANK YOU SO MUCH nonetheless for sharing this wonderful idea with us, chef and good luck in the contest.