Farfalla with Sautéed Arugula, Onions, and Pistachio Pesto

Pesto is what what carbs wear when they want to dress up! There's no such thing as a boring pesto. Pesto is one of my favorite things. It's easy to make, stores well in the fridge, and adds so much flavor to just about anything. It's also insanely versatile. I've made pesto with almost everything under the sun. The basic rule of pesto is:

greens + nuts + garlic + oil = pesto

Just about the only nut I don't use regularly is the pine nut, even though most basil pesto recipes call for it. I think they're overpriced, underwhelming, and hard to get your hands on. I love a creamy pesto with macadamia nuts, walnuts, or pistachios. These are cheapest when you can find them in bulk. Also, I store my nuts in the freezer so they don't spoil.

I used pasta for this recipe, but you could just as easily make zoodles (zucchini noodles) or even just chop and pan-sear some sliced zucchini and squash to toss through with the pesto and wilted greens. I'm also a big fan of leftover pesto pasta for packed lunches ... or breakfast if you have no willpower like me and wind up eating your lunch at your desk at 9am!

Pasta with Sautéed Arugula, Onions, and Pistachio Pesto


1/2 pound farfalla (or pasta of your choice)
1/2 red or yellow onion, sliced thin
2 cups arugula (or any other green), roughly chopped
2-3 roasted red peppers, sliced
1/4 cup or more pistachio pesto (or pesto of your choice)
grated parmesan to serve (optional)
salt and pepper to taste


  1. Bring a pot of salted water to boil and add pasta, stirring occassionally to prevent sticking. Cook until al dente and strain.  Drizzle with a few TBS good quality olive oil toss through. 
  2. While pasta is cooking, heat a skillet on medium heat until warm. Add a few TBS olive oil and onions. Stir occasionally after a minute or two and let the onions get just slightly browned and fragrant.
  3. If using veggies in place of pasta, add them to the hot pan in after the onions but before the greens in the next step and allow to brown somewhat on each side while still maintaining their structure.
  4. Add chopped arugula and/or other desired greens and saute for a minute or two until wilted. Add sliced roasted red peppers and warm through.
  5. Combine pasta, sauteed veggies, and pesto in a large bowl (or the pot you used to cook the pasta) and stir to combine. Serve hot with parmesan and salt and pepper, or let chill and serve as a cold appetizer salad.