12 July 2011

Arugula Pesto Pasta with Asparagus, Ricotta and Bacon

Arugula Pesto Pasta with Asparagus, Ricotta and Bacon
Necessity is the mother of invention, so when you have enough baby arugula or rocket to feed a small army crowding the refrigerator you make pesto. I was thinking ahead when I made this pasta and used up what I had left of a hoard of asparagus too. For this dish I shaved the asparagus finely with a vegetable peeler where it adds it's own special flavour and texture to this pasta dish.

This recipe calls for Campanelle or farfalle pasta. At the time neither seemed available to me but I did come across some Gigli or "lilies" or even ballerine, which if not the same thing are at least similar. These are a delicate but sturdy shape, that has fluted, petal-like edges and a hollow center for capturing your sauce. It adds a touch of elegance and charm to your table don't you think?
There are many whimsical pasta shapes that hold a voluptuous sauce, fashioned after such things as shells, corkscrews, wagon wheels, and radiators. Sometimes the same shape goes by two different names, depending on the manufacturer. Did you know that the Canadian Pasta Makers Association estimates that there are more than 600 pasta shapes worldwide?

 I had chosen this recipe from Rachel Ray destined for an event, but, by the time her name would come up asparagus would no longer be in season so I decided to showcase it now. The only change I made was to throw the shaved asparagus into the pot of boiling water with the pasta for the last minute of cooking. It seemed the thing to do.


I am submitting this recipe to Presto Pasta Nights which has been the baby of Ruth over at Once Upon a Feast for over 5 glorious years. Whenever we feel the urge for some pasta we can go over to her site and have years of entries from all over the world to choose from, from pasta salad to lasagna to Pho. There is a pasta for every season, every ingredient and every taste. All of these delicious pasta dishes have been submitted by all of you!!! Ruth says, "As of February 25, 2011 we've published over 3700 entries from all over the world. Every week food bloggers photograph and write about their latest pasta creation… if it’s for breakfast, lunch or dinner; served hot or cold; spicy or sweet; from appetizers to mains to desserts." This week the event is being hosted by Tandy of Lavender and Lime.


 **Arugula Pesto Pasta with Asparagus, Ricotta and Bacon **
  • 8 cups arugula (about 6 ounces)
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • ½ cup each pine nuts and grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • ⅔ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ pound trimmed asparagus
  • 1 pound pasta (such as campanelle or farfalle)
  • Fresh ricotta cheese
  • Crumbled crisp-cooked bacon
1. Using a blender or food processor, puree 8 cups arugula (about 6 ounces), 1 cup basil leaves, ½ cup each pine nuts and grated Parmesan cheese, 2 cloves garlic and 1½ teaspoons salt.

2. With the machine on, drizzle in ⅔ cup extra-virgin olive oil until combined.

3. Using a vegetable peeler, shave ½ pound trimmed asparagus into long, thin strips.

4. Cook 1 pound pasta (such as campanelle or farfalle) until al dente; drain and immediately toss with the pesto and asparagus. (In the last minite of cooking I added the shaved asparagus to the pasta pot). Season with salt. Top each serving with a dollop of fresh ricotta cheese and crumbled crisp-cooked bacon.






You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison.
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27 comments:

  1. Dear Valli. Sounds nice! And I think you really love ricotta like I love it!! You use a lot, me too, huggs, gloria

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  2. That looks and sound so fabulous! I'm already drooling...

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  3. I do the same thing whenever I have a ton of leafy greens.

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  4. I love arugula pesto! I usually have enough arugula from my garden to make lots of pesto to store in the freezer, but not this year. I miss it!

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  5. You have the BEST pasta dishes - always. The flavours here look so yummy and the dish so colourful and pretty. I am never as creative with my pasta due to my traditional carnivore turning his nose up at too many veggies.
    :)
    Valerie

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  6. There are so many delicious summery salads out there and I think this one tops the list!

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  7. How gorgeous is this? I don't know how you keep doing it, Val. You best yourself with every post. This sounds wonderful. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  8. Since this is a plate of all the ingredients I adore, I love it! You know, I've made so many pestos but never arugula. Will have to try it.

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  9. I adore arugula and I'm pretty sure I would adore it even MORE in pesto! What an amazing pasta dish.

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  10. I have never seen this pasta shape before - it looks too wonderful :) Thanks for taking part in PPN!

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  11. Arugula pesto sounds delicious and your dish is beautiful. I'm going over to meet Ruth. Thanks for the introduction.

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  12. The bacon is a good foil to the peppery arugala and asparagus comes up right through the middle...nice one!

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  13. hmmm... dressing up the arugula pesto with asparagus and ricotta sounds yummy!
    for those interested in the new generation of whole grain pastas (whole grain but with much better taste), there has been is wonderful nyt article: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/13/dining/13appe.html

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  14. Say that 3 times fast...I have made pesto before with the arugula and I like the bit of bitterness it brings

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  15. necessity no doubt is the mother of all invention.... that being said, i'll have some of this sans le bacon! :) I feel like pesto works on just about anything that involves pasta and bread!

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  16. Oh I LOVE arugula pesto - and we are lucky enough to have quite a lot of wild arugula growing near our house! This is an inepirede combination of flavours - all my favourites :)

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  17. I love how creamy ricotta makes pasta - it looks wonderful.

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  18. Love your idea of shaving the asparagus, Val. That would bring such great flavor and unique texture. :-)

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  19. I have never seen that shape of pasta: it looks nice and works very well with the various flavors. Well done!

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  20. Arugula pesto sounds wonderful! Love the way this dish looks!

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  21. a bunch of my favorites all in one bowl. What could be better.

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  22. Arugula pesto! What a terrific idea!

    ANd then adding bacon and asparagus. Oh my. It sounds wonderful.

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  23. This does sound wonderful with the arugula and ricotta and I like the idea of shaved asparagus here too. Wonderful dish!

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  24. Love the shape of this pasta and all the ingredients in it - the beauty of the dish is surpassed only by its taste, I'm sure.

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  25. have made different pesto combinations before, but never with arugula. excellent idea! and the entire dish screams spring or summer. and then there's bacon :)

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  26. These are all my absolute favourite summer ingredients in this, so I've bookmarked this for when summer returns to my part of the world. Love your little pasta "lillies" - I have never seen those before - very cute.
    Sue :-)

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  27. Valli,

    I've never heard of this pasta shape and will have to seek it out! What a wonderful summer recipe with the pesto and arugula! I've been away for 10 days now, and am so anxious to get back to my kitchen! I hope it's cool in Canada, cuz we're frying down here in the States.

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Welcome to my home. Thank you so much for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your comments, suggestions, daily encouragement and support.

Val

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