Donut Age: America's Donut Magazine

Arugula pesto and football: Perfect together?

I made this dish for the Super Bowl party we attended Sunday, and it got such good reviews, I thought I'd post it. I used the recipe from Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins's New Basics Cookbook, which (along with its siblings the Silver Palate Cookbook and Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook) is pretty much my first recourse when I want to cook for public events.

  • 12 oz. linguine
  • 4 C. fresh arugula leaves, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1 C. fresh mint leaves, rinsed and patted dry
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 C. pine nuts (pignoli)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2/3 C. olive oil
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish (optional)

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook at a rolling boil just until tender.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, combine the arugula, mint, garlic, 1/4 cup pf the pine nuts, and salt and pepper in a food processor and process until coarsely chopped. Do not over-process.
  3. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream. Process until smooth.
  4. Toast the remaining 1/4 cup pine nuts.
  5. Drain the pasta and toss it with the pesto and the toasted nuts. Garnish with Parmesan cheese, if desired.
( Rosso & Lukins, The New Baiscs Cookbook (1989), p. 64. )

To be honest, the dish had been almost polished off before I got my turn at the spread, so aside from what I sampled during the preparation, I only got to try a little more than a forkful. Still, I was pleased with the result. The arugula packs quite a punch when it first gets chopped, but once the whole dish was mixed and had stood for a bit, the flavors were much more balanced, and the mint, in particular, started to emerge.

The next time I try this, I'll go a bit heavier on the salt (I always use a pretty heavy hand with ground pepper). Other than that, this recipe works well straight out of the box.

About the game itself, I have nothing much to say. I saw only snippets of it, and I wasn't rooting for either team. I did enjoy some of the commercials: the Robert Goulet ad for Emerald Nuts:

("Around 3pm, when your blood sugar and energy are low, some say Robert Goulet appears... and messes with your stuff") and the Bud Light's public service announcement on hitchhiking:

  • He: "Shall we pick him up? He's got Bud Light."
  • She: "He has an axe!"
  • He: "But he has Bud Light."
  • She: "And an axe!"
  • He: "I'm sure there's a reason for it..."