makes 1 cup pesto
2 cups (2 ounces) basil leaves only…no stems
3 cups (3 ounces) arugula, extended stems removed
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced (optional)
2 tablespoons pine nuts
⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
⅛ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup chicken or vegetable cooking stock
⅓ cup finely shredded fresh Parmesan cheese
Place the basil leaves and trimmed arugula in a salad spinner. Rinse with cool water and spin to remove excess water. Drain the water from the first spin. Repeat the spin and drain process a second time. Remove the rinsed basil and arugula from the salad spinner and wrap in a dry kitchen towel to remove any remaining liquid.
Put the rinsed and dried basil leaves and arugula in the bowl of a food processor. Add the minced garlic and pine nuts. Sprinkle this mixture with the sea salt and coarse ground black pepper. Process the ingredients until finely chopped. Combine the olive oil and cooking stock in a measuring cup. Remove the center tube from the top of the food processor. With the motor running, slowly pour the olive oil/cooking oil mixture through the center tube and process to blend the liquids with the other ingredients. Turn off the food processor and remove the lid to sprinkle the finely grated Parmesan cheese over the pesto mixture. Replace the lid and purse 4 or 5 times to blend the cheese with other ingredients.
The pesto can be refrigerated for up to one week in an air-tight container. It can also be frozen in desired serving portions. Thaw frozen pesto before using.
To make pasta with pesto sauce to make 4 servings:
8 ounces Farfalle or other small, curly noodles, cooked according to package directions
6 slices thick bacon, excess fat removed before cooking
4 Tablespoons prepared pesto
4 Tablespoons 2% milk
4 Tablespoons finely grated fresh Parmesan
Coarsely grated fresh Parmesan cheese for garnish
While noodles are cooking, place the trimmed bacon in a skillet over medium heat. Cook until bacon is browned, turning to cook evenly. Remove cooked bacon from skillet and drain on paper towels. Coarsely chop cooled bacon. Set aside. Wipe residual bacon grease from skillet.
Add pesto and milk to skillet over low heat. Use a spatula to blend, stirring consistently to prevent pesto/milk mixture from boiling. Sprinkle finely grated Parmesan over the pesto mixture and stir to blend.
Drain cooked noodles and place in a large bowl. Spoon pesto sauce over noodles. Sprinkle chopped bacon evenly over the pesto and noodles. Use two serving spoons to blend the bacon, pesto sauce and noodles. Divide the pasta mixture onto four plates. Serve immediately, garnished with coarsely grated fresh Parmesan.