wholemeal fusilli arugula pesto
Everyday Pasta & Rice Sauces & Soups

Wholemeal Fusilli with Arugula Pesto

Simple, fresh, tasty: these wholemeal Fusilli with Arugula pesto, Cherry tomatoes, and Pecorino flakes are so good and creamy that you will lick your lips!

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I love arugula and I have a huge, huge, huge passion for pasta!
Arugula is a vegetable with exceptional properties. It is rich in fiber, calcium, and vitamins and suitable for all types of diets. Originally from the Mediterranean area, arugula is a plant used since ancient times in cooking, particularly appreciated by the Greeks for its digestive properties and considered a powerful aphrodisiac by the Romans. In fact, legend has it that in the Renaissance period it was forbidden to cultivate it around the monasteries, for fear that the monks could abandon the vow of chastity after having tasted it.

This Fusilli recipe is quick to make and does not require too many steps.
This week I had so much arugula in my fridge that I needed a few clever ways to use it; then I thought … what’s better than use that for a yummy pasta dish?
I opted to prepare an arugula-based pesto. Green, fresh, and with a pungent flavor, this sauce is really creamy and delicious.

In Italy Pesto (which literally means “Beated”) has ancient and varied traditions. There are many many types: the most famous is for sure the Basil Pesto alla Genovese, of which if you are curious you can find here the recipe. But equally famous is the Sicilian Pesto – based on tomatoes and ricotta, or the cheese and nut one!

The extra thing with pesto sauces it’s that I can make it in advance and store it in the refrigerator. That fits perfectly with my work week routine when I back home exhausted and I don’t want to go crazy to arrange a good dinner in no time.

Try out your Perfect Pasta Combining

Arugula Pesto tossed with cherry tomatoes and Pecorino cheese is one of my favorite pasta combining. It’s fresh, dietary, has a lot in vitamins from salad and tomatoes, and good protein from the cheese. And overall, it literally requires 5 minutes to be set up.

fusilli arugula pesto

But you can customize your pasta recipe with arugula pesto with the ingredients you like best. Here are some alternative pairings are, that I already tested and that are delicious :

  • Arugula Pesto with Dried Tomatoes and Anchovies: for 4 people just use about 15 dried tomatoes and 5 anchovies in oil; grossly chop them and pour together with pasta and pesto.
  • Arugula Pesto with Smoked Salmon and Almond: for 4 people use about 100 g of smoked salmon. As for the almonds, I love the feeling of the slivers one, so I recommend those to you. The dosage for 4 people is about 40 g.

Whatever ingredients you choose, just pour in all into a bowl. When the pasta is cooked, drain it, and pour in the bowl too adding your fresh pesto and combine.

How to make Arugula Pesto in minutes

Making Arugula Pesto is really super-quick and easy. Basically there are two ways to make pesto: using a traditional mortar or an immersion blender.

If you like to make it as our grandmothers did, I absolutely recommend you to prefer a Granite Mortar. This is my choice because the granite is smooth and non-porous, which allows us to grind while preserving the properties of the ingredients, including the perfume. Remember to start by pouring arugula, pine nuts, and walnuts first, then pound them together until the leaves are roughly macerated. Add a couple of spoons of Parmigiano cheese and pound again. When the sauce begins to go creamy, start pouring the oil slowly while continuing to pound

For your rushing days don’t give up, a good Immersion Blender can be terribly helpful to get a perfect pesto in a few minutes. Just put ingredients into the cup and start blending. Once they are lightly chopped, continue to blend while adding the oil until you get a full-bodied and creamy sauce.

How to preserve Pesto

This Arugula Pesto sauce recipe is not just for pasta! It’s proper to accompany many of your favorite dishes. You can try it on a tasty chicken or to give an extra gear on your favorite fish or even to soak some cheese croutons. Its versatility has no limits!

Once ready, you can store the pesto in a Hermetic Jar adding over an extra layer of olive oil, and place it into the fridge for up to 7 days; that will help to preserve the green from oxidation and ensure it longer conservation.

Yield: 4

Wholemeal Fusilli with Arugula Pesto

fusilli arugula pesto

Simple, fresh, tasty: these wholemeal fusilli with arugula pesto, cherry tomatoes, and pecorino cheese are so good and creamy that you will lick your lips!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 seconds
Total Time 10 minutes 20 seconds


  • 400 g wholemeal fusilli pasta
  • 150 g fresh arugula
  • 20 g pine nuts
  • 2 tsps of Parmesan cheese
  • 2 walnuts
  • 30 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 10 cherry tomatoes
  • 8 black olives
  • 30 g pecorino flakes
  • salt
  • pepper


  1. (Pesto Process with the immersion blender, for the mortar process, follow the steps above)
    Wash and dry the arugula, then put it in a blender container together with the pine nuts.
  2. Mix until the leave will be roughly macerated, then add the Parmigiano cheese.
  3. Blend again on low speed while slowly pouring in the oil.
    Stir until the sauce becomes creamy and then set aside.
  4. Put a large pot on the stove and boil 3lt of water. At the boiling point add 2 pinches of coarse salt, then pour in the wholemeal pasta and cook according to the cooking time indicated on the package.
  5. While pasta cooks, cut the washed and dried cherry tomatoes into small pieces. Pour the tomatoes into a large bowl with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  6. Chop the olives and add them to the tomatoes.
  7. Drain the pasta and pour it into the bowl, giving a first stir.
  8. Pour the arugula pesto over the pasta and blend.
  9. Create some Pecorino flakes (a vegetable peeler can help) and sprinkle it over the pasta.
  10. This dish is great hot, but also great served cold as a pasta salad.

I hope you’ve loved this recipe as much as I do!

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  1. That sounds soooo yummy, thanks for sharing!

  2. spruitt8 says:

    I always love a good pasta meal! Arugula is something that I was not a fan of at first, but have grown to like. I can’t wait to try this!

  3. Jeannie says:

    looking forward to another pasta meal for me.

  4. I love arugula and have never heard of making pesto with it. Such a great idea. Sounds delicious and I cannot wait to give this recipe a try!

  5. I like Pesto but l never made with Arugula. Your recipe looks delicious l ll try make soon 😄

  6. Paper Mint Books says:

    What a delicious dish! I love pasta so much, thanks for sharing (: -papermintbooks.com

  7. Great! My partner is the pasta expert, so I’ve printed the recipe for him do make soon:)) I can’t wait!

  8. This meal look so healthy-licious! I love it. Thank you for sharing your recipe.

  9. This looks delicious! I’ll definitely have to try the recipe out 🙂 Thanks, Sophie xo

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