Deducting from The New Food Lover’s Companion, the main tenets of a pesto come from the Italian origin of the name, “to pound” and the cooking method, well, is the uncooking method. The ingredients of a pesto should be crushed together to create a raw sauce. The pulveration of the sauce can be through either a mortar and pestle or a food processor. And the uncooked part, well, I guess the sauce is not meant to be warmed by fire.
My newest “pesto” therefore is only partially legit. I used my mini-food processor, but with the bitey combination of raw garlic and arugula (so plentiful at the farmers’ market!), I felt the need to heat it through, for really just as long as the pasta cooked and it surely helped with the sting of the sauce.
Unorthodox recipe post jump.
Arugula Half-Pesto with Wilted Arugula and Fettuccine
Drop in a food processor: arugula, cream cheese, two smashed garlic cloves, a swirl of olive oil, herbs de provence, salt and pepper. Like I said, this will be a bitey, but less so after cooking. Once the pasta is in the salted, boiling water, let the sauce slowly warm up in a large, high-sided pan. (I used a wok because I’m a terribly messy chef.)
If the sauce is sticking to the pan, throw in some more oil. When the whole wheat fettuccine is almost done, and depending on the thickness of your sauce (it will be thick) add in some of the pasta cooking water, just a tablespoon at a time. And then when the pasta is super nearly done, throw in more arugula, than add in the pasta and toss together. Top with pine nuts, chives, more pepper, and a buttload of freshly grated parm cheese.
Actually, take the buttload in stages. After every sixth bite I grated a bit more cheese. Crap cheese is good.