If you love tapenade as much as I do this recipe will be right up your alley. This recipe was inspired by Nigella Lawson’s beautiful recipe for Spelt Spaghetti with Olives and Anchovies. After seeing her prepare her dish during one of my Nigela-youTube-marathons, I immediately went into the kitchen to see what I could come up with. Sadly, I didn’t have all the ingredients required to make her version. However, I was more than happy with the version I was able to create with ingredients I had available to me. I took the liberty of adding more olives in my sauce than she does in her’s, simply because I love olives. And I used arugula, instead of parsley, which I thought added a nice pepperiness to counter the saltiness of the olives and anchovies. I also prepared it with a good amount of arugula in the pasta.
Whole Wheat Pasta with Olive & Arugula Pesto (no cook sauce) – Serves 2 -3
For the sauce –
- 1 cup green olives, pitted
- 4-6 anchovies
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1-2 tablespoons of sunflower seeds or pine nuts
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 1 cup arugula, washed
- ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- ⅔ cup olive oil
- ½ cup pasta water, reserved from the cooked pasta
For the pasta:
- ½ package of whole wheat spaghetti
- 3 – 4 cups of arugula
- Begin by boiling the water for the pasta and cook the pasta according to packaging instructions. Meanwhile, while the pasta cooks, make the sauce.
- For the sauce, place all of the ingredients, with the exception of the pasta water, into the bowl of a food processor fitted with chopping blade. Alternatively, you can use an immersion blender and measuring cup.
- Process the ingredients until the sauce has a pesto-like consistency. If you’re using an immersion blender don’t be tempted to taste the sauce directly from the blades, unless you are sure it is unplugged! The sauce will be salty, but keep in mind you’ll dilute the sauce with the pasta water.
- Once the pasta is cooked, turn off the heat, reserve ½ cup of the water to thicken the sauce and drain the pasta.
- Return the pasta to the pot. Add half of the reserved pasta water to the sauce and mix.
- Then, add the sauce and the arugula to the pasta and toss.
- Check for seasonings and add more of the pasta water if necessary. Serve immediately.