Monday, January 23, 2012

spaghetti with lemon-arugula•pesto

Oliver loves to sit on the potty lately.  This is generally a really good thing-- especially considering he's not even two.  I really only have two issues with this:
1. The fact that it's often hard to get him off of the potty.  This is especially an issue when, say, it's time to go pick up Owen from school and he won't budge.  I end up having to pluck him off the potty, pin him down to get a diaper and pants on him, then carry him kicking and screaming to the car.
2. The fact that he sits there almost constantly screaming, "POOP THE POTTY!" at the top of his lungs until I come check if he did, indeed, poop the potty.  It turns out that most of the time, he did not.
Another big plus, though: it gives me a few minutes to do something uninterrupted while he's in there mindlessly playing with himself and paging through a book about animals.  That is, if I can do it while listening to him scream "POOP THE POTTY!...  POOP THE POTTY!... POOP THE POTTY!..."  If I hurry, it's just enough time, for example, to throw together some pesto for tonight's dinner.  
Having the pesto ready ahead of time makes dinner super-easy to put together later.  Sometimes we keep it simple and just eat a big bowl of this stuff solo, which means simply boiling pasta and tossing everything together at dinner time.  If I have the time, though (say, if Ollie wants to sit on the potty again right before dinner) I'll also steam a green veggie for on the side and slice up some whole-grain french bread.  
Surprisingly, despite the fact that it contains arugula (a green I honestly didn't like until about five years ago), my kids love it.  Owen once said, while slurping a lemon-arugula noodle, "I could eat this all day!"  
Ollie really likes it, too.  But not as much as he likes sitting on the potty.

the veggies:

  • about 2/3 box (or roughly 10 ounces) of Barilla Plus spaghetti (or other pasta)*
  • zest and juice from one lemon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2  cup shredded parmesan, plus more for garnish (optional)
  • leaves from one large basil stem (about 1/2 cup loosely packed leaves or roughly half a .66 ounce package)
  • 3 cups baby arugula, loosely packed
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

the love:

  1. Cook the pasta in boiling, salted water until al dente, then drain.
  2. In a small food processor, blend the lemon zest and juice, salt, parmesan, basil and arugula until well processed.
  3. With the processor running, add the oil in a stream and process until evenly incorporated.
  4. While the pasta is still hot, toss it with the pesto sauce in a large bowl.  Add salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste.
  5. Serve garnished with extra shredded parmesan, if that sounds good.


*This is also good on cheese tortellini, but you'll need to play with the pasta-to-pesto ratio to get it right.


  1. Loved this dish when you made it in FL. We had pesto the other night from the recipe in the new Cooks Illistrated cookbook (recomend highly). They toast the pine nuts and garlic before mixing.

    1. Mmmm... That sounds good! I'll have to look for that cookbook. This is actually a slightly different version from what I made in FL (that version didn't have arugula), but same general idea, and also really yummy! I hope you all are well! ♥