Pesto is one of the most common uses for the seasonal yield of garlic scapes. This time the Ithatarians decided to add the peppery taste of arugula to the mix since it too came with this week’s share. In this first installment of recipe sharing, you’ll also learn that IthaJon rarely cooks from recipes, choosing instead to add ingredients according to imagination and taste. So, apologies for what here are are very rough estimates of quantity and also for the graininess of the photo (the camera’s settings weren’t right).
Garlic Scape and Arugula Pesto
Makes 8 servings
- Four or five garlic scapes.
- Two cups of arugula.
- One cup of grated parmesan cheese
- Almonds, peanuts, or pine nuts.
- Two cups of penne or your favorite pasta. (We used whole wheat)
- Olive oil.
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste.
- Food processor or blender.
Cook two cups of pasta to just before desired softness (it’ll finish cooking later). Do not discard all of the the pasta water.
Chop the garlic scapes evenly and put them in the food processor. Adding small amounts of olive oil, blend the scapes to a paste-like consistency. Empty the paste into a medium sauce pan. Chop the arugula leaves similarly and likewise blend them to a paste in the processor, adding olive oil to achieve the right consistency. Add the arugula paste to the scape paste. Take a moment to enjoy the fragrant smell of the green mix.
Normally, pesto is made with pine nuts but they can be quite expensive and the Ithatarians don’t really keep them around the kitchen. If you have them and prefer them, go ahead! But if you’re like us and are more likely to have peanuts or almonds, take a heaping handful of the nut of your choice and chop it up in the food processor. We used almonds in this recipe and they gave the pesto a rich taste. Add your chopped nuts to the mix in the saucepan.
Heat the chopped mix in the saucepan over medium heat. Stir. Add olive oil to the point of saturation (when it no longer absorbs into the mix). Turn heat to low and let the ingredients cook together for a few minutes. Add pre-cooked pasta and mix until pesto is evenly distributed. Stir in the cheese. It’s going to get dry and sticky now as a the cheese melts. Add tablespoons of the water you cooked your pasta in until the pesto is creamy.
Taste. Add more of anything you’d like to fit your taste preference, including the salt and pepper.
You can serve this hot or cold. We tried both. Enjoy!