arugula and pecan pesto

I don't like gourmet cooking or this cooking or that cooking.

I like good cooking.
~ James Beard

Arugula has been recently epitomized as gourmet, a distinction that kind of confuses me. The Italians have been using it every day for eons. But I suppose that is how food trends work -- someone's everyday flavour becomes another's indulgence. In any case, arugula is such a yummy green -- bitter and peppery -- that it deserves all the good press. This pesto recipe is adapted from one in Gourmet (!!) magazine, circa 2001.

arugula and pecan pesto
serves 4

3/4 C pecans, toasted
1 garlic clove, minced
a couple pinches of course salt
10 oz arugula, course stems removed
1/2 C grated parmesan
olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
1 lb linguine

Finely chop about 1/4 C of the pecans. Set aside.

In food processor, combine minced garlic, salt, remaining 1/2 C pecans, arugula, cheese, pepper, and a few tablespoons of olive oil. Pulse together, adding more olive oil, until the pesto is the desired consistency.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in salted water according to package directions. Ladle out and reserve 1 1/2 C pasta water. Drain pasta. Return to pot and toss with pesto, chopped pecans, and 1/2 C pasta water. Add more cooking water if pasta seems dry. Serve immediately.

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