Pesto Pasta


Pesto Pasta


  • 1 pound whole grain pasta
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 3 handfuls baby arugula or spinach
  • Optional cheese: Crumbled feta cheese, little mozzarella balls or diced mozzarella or grated Parmesan
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • ½ cup pepitas
  • ½ cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • ½ cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • ¼ cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • cup extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil for the pasta.
  2. Cook the pasta until al dente according to package directions.
  3. Before draining, reserve about ½ cup pasta cooking water, then drain and immediately rinse the pasta under cool water to prevent the noodles from sticking to one another.
  4. Transfer the pasta to a large serving bowl.
  5. Meanwhile, to prepare the pesto: In a small skillet, toast the pepitas over medium heat, stirring often, until they are fragrant.
  6. Pour half of the pepitas into a bowl for later for garnish.
  7. Pour the remaining pepitas into a food processor.
  8. Add the basil, parsley, lemon juice, garlic and salt to the processor.
  9. To assemble the pasta salad, pour all of the pesto over the pasta and toss until the pasta is lightly and evenly coated.
  10. Then add the cherry tomatoes, arugula, remaining toasted pepitas, and any optional add-ins (olives, chickpeas and/or cheese).
  11. Toss again to combine.
  12. If the pasta needs more flavor, add salt, to taste, or a splash of lemon juice.