Easy Weeknight Dinner: Arugula Pasta Pesto with Cherry Tomatoes and Sunflower Seeds
An Italian classic with a delicious twist. This quick and easy dish will amaze your family’s taste buds. While I love the traditional pesto with basil and pine nuts, I must say the spunky, peppery taste of the arugula pesto has made this dish the new pesto favorite at our home.
And the best part… next to being super delicious, it only takes 20 minutes of your precious time to make this yummy dish!
Ingredients (serves 2)
For the pesto
- 1 clove garlic
- 1.5 cup arugula
- 1.5 oz Parmesan cheese (for vegans use nutritional yeast)
- 1/3 cup sunflower seeds (pine nuts or cashews work too), raw and shelled
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- sea salt to taste
For the pasta
- 2 to 2.5 cups penne (or any other pasta you like)
- 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1.5 cup arugula, torn
- 2 tbsp shelled sunflower seeds, raw or roasted (pine nuts are delicious too)
- black pepper to taste
Instructions (20 min)
- Cook the penne in lightly salted water according to the instructions on the package.
- In a blender or food processor, combine all pesto ingredients and blend/process until a smooth paste.
- Over medium heat, heat cooking oil in a skillet or pan. Saute the minced garlic for 1 minute, stirring constantly to make sure the garlic doesn’t brown.
- Stir in halved cherry tomatoes and reduce heat to medium-low. Season with black pepper to taste. Cook for 10 minutes or until the tomatoes start to fall apart and are cooked through, stirring regularly.
- Combine cooked and drained pasta, tomatoes, and pesto. Stir well until heated through.
- Divide arugula over bowls or plates. Add pasta and top sunflower seeds.
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