‘The Rocket’ – a recipe for pesto superfans


This is truly a recipe for pesto lovers. It should particularly interest those who've already mastered traditional fresh basil pesto and are looking for a new, scrummy alternative.

artichoke pasta recipe

Of course this pesto recipe still involves mashing up ingredients and smothering them over mouth-watering pasta... only instead of the usual basil and pine seeds it uses fresh arugula/rocket and crushed walnut, to give a nuttier, warmer, stronger taste I think you’ll love.

As with any recipe for pesto, you have an equipment choice: either employ a hand blender to whiz the ingredients (don't have one? Try this beauty ), or use a pestle and mortar (marble is best - see here).

Okay, let’s make it!

Serves 2

recipe for pestoIngredients

50g/1.8oz arugula (rocket)

3 walnuts

Clove of garlic

1 tablespoon (20g/0.7oz) of grated parmesan cheese

Extra virgin olive oil

Pinch of salt


Hand blender or pestle & mortar (find them on Amazon here and here )

Cheese grater

Optional: nut crackers

STEP 1 - First, we prep!

- Peel the garlic clove, chop off the ends, and slice finely.

- De-stalk then rinse the arugula in warm water. Shake dry.

- Grate the parmesan.

- Smash open the walnuts, using a nut cracker or in the hand, and throw away the shells.

STEP 2 - Pop half the cheese, nuts, arugula/rocket and garlic in the blender or mortar bowl.

- Add a good glug of oil and mix/whix until the mixture forms a rough paste.

- Add the remaining ingredients and repeat. (If now a little dry, add a drop more oil.)

Note: Why do we not grind all the ingredients from the off? I find the full ingredients are often too much for one mortar bowl (unless it’s really huge).


What now?
Just cook up your favorite pasta and smother it in this fresh scrummy mixture.

Want to really impress your guests?
Combine this pesto with fresh red tagliatelle for a funky dish of contrasting colors (pic above).

If you haven’t already… try this traditional Ligurian basil pesto too!

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