The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Arugula Pesto with Jalapeno and Pumpkin Seeds

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Level: Easy

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Description

A twist. A very sexy, flavorful, spicy twist.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Short-cut Pasta, Your Choice
  • 1 Tablespoon Salt For Pasta Water
  • 3 cups Fresh Arugula, Cleaned And Any Large Stems Removed
  • 2 cups Fresh Parsley Leaves
  • 3 whole Scallions, Cut Into 3-inch Lengths
  • 2 whole Jalapenos (half This Amount If You're Sensitive To Spice), Halved, Stemmed, And Seeded
  • 1 clove Garlic, Peeled
  • 1 whole Lime, Zested
  • ½ cups Toasted Pumpkin Seeds (pepitas), Plus More For Garnish
  • ¼ cups Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • ½ cups Olive Oil Plus More For The Capers, If Using
  • Salt To Taste
  • 3 Tablespoons Capers (optional)

Preparation

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. When the water boils, add 1 tablespoon salt and boil the pasta according to package directions. Before draining, reserve 1 cup of the starchy pasta water. Set the water and the pasta aside.

Meanwhile, make the pesto. Combine the arugula, parsley, scallions, jalapenos, garlic, lime zest, pepitas, cheese, and 1/4 cup olive oil in a blender or food processor bowl. Process until smooth, streaming in more olive oil as needed to form a thick paste. You want it to be about the consistency of peanut butter. Taste the pesto, and add salt to your taste.

Note: If the pesto is too spicy, add more cheese, olive oil, or parsley to make the flavor more mild. If you aren’t sure about how spicy your peppers will be, start the pesto with 1 jalapeno and add the second in bits once you taste the pesto.

Optional caper garnish: Heat a skillet to medium-high heat with a drizzle of olive oil. Add the capers, and toss in the hot oil, cooking for 3-5 minutes until dark and crispy on the edges. Remove from the heat.

To serve, toss the pasta, all the pesto, and the reserved cooking water in a large bowl or in the pot you used to cook the pasta. Taste, and add more salt if needed.

Serve with extra cheese and pepitas, and crispy capers, if using.

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