This delicious pesto is best for the early summer season since it uses rocket (also known as arugula), a very nutritious leafy green. The rocket is delicate, spicy, and tasty, and when combined with garlic and walnuts, you end up with a very mouth-watering pesto.
Hi, my name is Alessandra Lauria, I am a Sicilian pasta maker expert, a dinner party host, and creator and founder of The Pasta Studio - an online (and offline) pasta school. As my roots are Sicilian, I tend to share what’s locally delicious to me. Hope you will enjoy it as much as I do!
As with all pestos, using the mortar for this Rocket Pesto enhances the flavors from the fresh ingredients while making sure all the nutritional values are not lost.
This recipe calls for two kinds of cheese: Grana and Pecorino. If you don’t have the two different kinds of cheese, you can just use Grana Padano cheese which is similar to Parmesan. If you are using only Pecorino cheese, make sure it’s aged and it is less in quantity as it is saltier than the Grana cheese.
Using fresh Rocket makes a delicious, summery pesto!
30g of Rocket leaves
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
20g of fresh Walnuts
10g of grated Grana cheese
10g of grated Pecorino cheese
1 small garlic clove (bigger cloves will overpower the pesto)
Mortar and Pestle
Prepare your mise en place by grating the cheese and setting aside all ingredients.
Add the garlic into the mortar and smash it until it’s completely dissolved into a paste. Then add the walnuts to grind down as well. If the walnuts are difficult to break down, you can add a bit of olive oil during that step.
Add the rest of your ingredients, in this order: rocket, grated cheese, and olive oil. Grind the rocket to break down the leaves and then swirl with your pestle to incorporate the cheese and oil.
I love using this pesto for a fresh pasta salad.
As with any pesto, it will need to be stored in a well-sealed container with plenty of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and refrigerated for 3-4 days.