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Recipe: Arugula and Ricotta Pesto

Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated Magazine, Christopher Kimball, January/February 2001 as included in the Just Food arugula tip sheet from Gaining Ground

Arugula and Ricotta Pesto


  • 3 medium garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, walnuts, almonds, or sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup packed fresh arugula leaves, washed and dried thoroughly
  • 1 cup packed fresh parsley leaves, washed and dried thoroughly
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 7 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a food processor or blender, combine garlic, nuts or seeds, arugula, parsley, basil, and oil and blend until it forms a smooth mixture. You may have to scrape down the sides of the processor or blender.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl and stir in the cheeses, salt, and pepper.

This recipe makes about 1-1/2 cups of pesto, enough to sauce on pound of cooked pasta.
It is best to add 3-4 tbsp of the water the pasta was cooked in to the pesto before tossing it with the pasta.