Pesto Perfection

Even though my husband has to be nice and say he likes my cooking, this recipe must have been a hit since, without asking, he suggested the name for this post as ‘pesto perfection’.  An enthusiastic endorsement!

You can easily get away with using pesto from a jar for this recipe. However, it’s such a simple sauce to make from scratch that as long as I have the ingredients, I almost always make my own, using low fat grated cheese and reduced amounts of oil. For this particular pasta, I opted for an arugula pesto, which was delicious!

To make the pesto, I combined approximately 1 cup of baby arugula with 3 cloves of garlic, about 1.5 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp PC Blue Menu low fat grated parmesan, and 1 tbsp pine nuts in a small food processor. After roasting the tomatoes in this recipe, I added a few of them, along with their juices, to the pesto and blended again. This made more than enough pesto for this recipe, plus about 1/4 cup left over. The ingredients for the pesto are not listed below.

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I usually prefer to make this with penne, but I didn’t have any at home so I opted for fettuccine, which actually worked so nicely.

Arugula, Roasted Tomato and Crab Pesto Fettuccine

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1 pint of cherry tomatoes, washed and halved
1-2 cups baby arugula
4-5 medium sized balls of bocconcini cheese (1 tub), cut into small pieces
1 package frozen kosher surimi seafood flake, defrosted (mock crab or shrimp)
1 tsp minced garlic
2-3 tbsp white wine or white wine vinegar
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze
4-6 cups cooked pasta
salt and pepper to taste
3-4 tbsp pesto

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Put the tomato halves, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper into an oven safe dish. Stir to coat and put in oven. Cook for about 20-30 minutes.
  2. Heat a pan sprayed with PAM, and when hot, add in the mock crab and the minced garlic. Cook until soft, and then add in the white wine, and cook until slightly browned.
  3. When tomatoes are done cooking, transfer them into a large bowl, and then on top, put in the (raw) arugula (the heat of the tomatoes and pasta will slightly wilt it), then the pasta, crab, and pesto. Toss to coat, and then add in the bocconcini cheese. Top with grated or shaved parmesan.

Dinner wouldn’t be complete without a nice drink- gin and tonic courtesy of Jay!

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