Arugula Pesto Recipe

Arugula pesto is a sauce that we use to flavor all kinds of pasta: spaghetti, tagliatelle, rigatoni and even gnocchi. We used this recipe to make Potato gnocchi with gorgonzola. Delicious!

Arugula pesto is typically slightly bitter than others pesto sauces, such as basil pesto (Pesto Genovese). On the other hand, we know that rocket salad is bitter. But using walnuts, the bitterish taste feels very little. You can use other types of dried fruits, such as almonds, hazelnuts or pine nuts.

Arugula pesto sauce is simple and quick to make and if you prepare it the day before, is even better. It’s also excellent with soups, grilled vegetables or spread on toasted bread.

arugula pesto recipe

See How to Make Trofie al Pesto

Arugula Pesto Recipe

  • Prep Time: 5 Min
  • Cook Time: 10 Min
  • Servings: 4


  • 100 g (3,5 oz) of arugula salad
  • 80 g (2,80 oz) of shelled walnuts
  • 30 g (1 oz or 3 tablespoons) of Parmigiano cheese
  • 30 g (1 oz or 3 tablespoons) of Pecorino cheese
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 250 ml or 1 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 or 4 ice cubes


arugula pesto recipe

Toast the walnuts in a pan for 2 minutes (1) then put them in a blender with Parmigiano cheese, Pecorino cheese and garlic clove. Add half oil (2) and blend at maximum speed for 2/3 minutes. Then add the rocket salad (3)

arugula pesto recipe

and theice cubes(4). Ice is used to maintain the arugula green color.

Blend on high speed for 5 minutes or until the arugula pesto is creamy and smooth, adding the oil little by little. Sincerocket pesto sauce is dependent on the individual ingredients, and the arugula flavor depends on the season or variety, taste it often and add more or less of the ingredients to taste. 

Place the pesto in a small bowl (5-6) and use it to season all kinds of pasta. You may need to add a little bit of cooking water to warm it and more olive oil to mix the pesto more evenly with every type of pasta.

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