This recipe was one I saved with no expectations of being able to use this season – it seems like with a CSA you should never count on any two things being in the share together. So I was really excited to try this out when arugula finally came in this week with the end of the summer squash harvest! I originally found this recipe in Food & Wine Magazine and made a few adjustments for ease of preparation.
Half of the bundle of Arugula is pureed into a pesto with walnuts, and then the remaining leaves are sliced and tossed into the pasta vegetable mixture. You can use a mandoline for slicing the squash into ribbons, or a y-shaped vegetable peeler. These are a must-have in the farm kitchen – they’re inexpensive and kid-friendly. If you have a spiralizer (it’s on our wish list, maybe we’ll get one next season) this would also be great (and gluten free) with just blanched squash and no pasta.
One thing I love about this dish is it includes extra walnuts and cheese to toss in at the end. It gives the whole thing a nice texture and flavor. The original recipe calls for pappardelle (wide, flat noodles), but I only had spaghetti at the farm. I’d venture to say any pasta shape will work great!
Summer Squash Noodles & Arugula Pesto adapted from Food & Wine
1 lb summer squash
1 bunch arugula
3/4 cup olive oil
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup grated parmesan, plus more for garnish
3/4 cup walnut halves
8 oz spaghetti or pappardelle
salt and pepper
juice from 1/2 a lemon
Wash the arugula and gently pat dry. Divide the bunch in half, half for the pesto, half for the pasta. Remove the bottom stems from the half for the pasta, thinly slice the leaves, and set aside.
Toast the walnuts. In a small skillet toast the walnuts over medium-low heat until golden, about 5 minutes. Shake the pan frequently while toasting. Set 1/2 cup aside for the pesto, coarsely chop the remaining 1/4 cup.
Make the pesto. Place the garlic in a food processor, process on high to mince. Add the walnuts and grated cheese, pulse to combine. Add the arugula leaves, turn the processor on high and stream in the oil. Turn off the processor, open and add the lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste, stir if necessary and process one final time.
Cook the pasta according to package directions.
While the pasta is cooking, shred the summer squash into long peels with a mandoline or y-shaped peeler.
When the pasta is cooked, drain and return to the pan. Add the squash “noodles” and pesto and toss thoroughly to combine. Taste and add salt or pepper if necessary. Transfer to a serving platter or bowl and garnish with the extra parmesan and walnuts.
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