Spaghetti with Baby Arugula and Pistachio Pesto (For Two)

Spaghetti with Baby Arugula and Pistachio Pesto (For Two)

These spaghetti with baby arugula and pistachio pesto are so delicious. They are the perfect easy meal for busy evenings. You can literally prepare them in thirty minutes or less. When I created this recipe, I wanted to make a different version on the classic basil pesto. I kept some of the basil taste, but I added a lot of baby arugula and a bright lemon flavor. I also replaced the pine nuts with roasted pistachios. They add such a unique texture and aroma to this dish. I have a feeling that if you a fan of the classic pesto you would love that one too.

This recipe feeds two people. In my family I prepare pasta only for our daughter and myself. My husband doesn’t like pasta. That is why I became an expert when it comes to preparing spaghetti for two.

Spaghetti with Baby Arugula and Pistachio Pesto

Why should you make this recipe?

This is an easy thirty minute recipe that you can prepare for lunch or dinner. You don’t have to be an experienced cook to make the spaghetti with baby arugula and pistachio pesto. I feel like you can fix this meal even if you’ve never cooked anything in your life. Just boil the pasta, blend the pesto and stir them together.

This recipe is not only delicious but also very nutritious. You need only few ingredients to prepare them

  • Spaghetti – I used whole wheat spaghetti from Delallo. I love the taste and texture of that pasta. Whole wheat pasta is higher in nutrients and fiber. It will also keep you full for longer. This post is not sponsored, and the link is not affiliate.
  • Arugula – incredibly nutrient dense leafy green vegetable. It contains a variety of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Arugula is also a great source of fiber.
  • Pistachios – good source of protein, fiber and monounsaturated fats. All nuts are beneficial to cardiovascular health and may lower cholesterol.
  • Olive Oil – the healthiest fat you can consume raw is the extra virgin olive oil. It is known to have benefits for the cardiovascular and nervous system.
  • Parmesanpeople with lactose intolerance (like me) can consume real Parmesan cheese. During the aging process the bacteria feeds on the lactose, so when the Parmesan is ready it is completely lactose free.
  • Garlic – great natural antibiotic. It has anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-microbial properties.
  • Basil – delicious herb that is used as a cure for digestive and kidney problems. Like most plants it is high in antioxidants.
  • Lemon – it helps boost your immune system with a dose of vitamin C
Spaghetti with Baby Arugula and Pistachio Pesto

Helpful tips

You need a food processor or blender for this recipe. Use whatever you have. In the past I actually used a smoothie maker for small batches of pesto, and it worked fine.

Cook the spaghetti to your liking. I recommend them a little bit al dente (firm to the bite), because before serving you have to cook them one more time. You transfer the spaghetti with the pesto in a pan and cook for a minute or two.

When I make any type of pesto I grate or press the garlic before I add it to the food processor. I found out that when I add a whole garlic clove in my food processor it doesn’t blend it well. I often find big chunks of garlic in my pesto, and I definitely don’t like that.

Use real, freshly grated Parmesan cheese. You can find it in the refrigerated section of the grocery store with the rest of the cheese. I never use pre-grated cheese in any of my recipes. I don’t like how many extra additives and anti-caking agents it has.

Season every step of the way. Add salt to the pasta water, then to the pesto. Use your own judgment when you add salt. Parmesan cheese could be salty.

Spaghetti with Baby Arugula and Pistachio Pesto

Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Arugula, basil, garlic, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, Pistachios, Spaghetti
Servings: 2


  • Food processor, blender


  • 4 oz dry, uncooked spaghetti I used whole wheat
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves
  • ¼ cup roasted unsalted pistachios shells removed
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove pressed or grated
  • 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • the zest from one lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste

Toppings (optional)- cherry tomatoes, baby mozzarella, grated Parmesan, basil, pistachios


    • Add water in a deep pot. Bring it to boil. Once the water is boiling add a pinch of salt and add the spaghetti. Cook the pasta according to the package directions.
    • While the pasta is cooking add the arugula, basil, pistachios, garlic, olive oil, Parmesan, lemon juice and zest in a large jar. Add salt and pepper to taste and blend with an immersion blender until smooth. You can also use a food processor.
    • Add the pesto and the cooked spaghetti in a deep pan. Stir until combined and add about ¼ cup of the pasta water. Stir and cook for about a minute and then serve into two plates.
    • Top with some cherry tomatoes, baby mozzarella, Parmesan or toppings that you like and serve while it is still warm.
    Spaghetti with Baby Arugula and Pistachio Pesto

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