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Pasta with Arugula Pesto

1/4 cup walnut pieces
2-3 large garlic cloves
2 cups coarsely chopped arugula (stems included), firmly packed
1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro or basil
1/2 cup plus 1 TBS. olive oil (preferably extra-virgin)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
Salt to taste
1 pinch cayenne
1 pound dried pasta (any kind)
More Parmesan cheese, for garnish (optional)

1. Combine the first four ingredients in a food processor or blender. Whirl them just until they are coarsely chopped. While the machine is running, add the olive oil in a thin stream. Transfer the pesto to a bowl. (at this point the pesto can be frozen. thaw it before proceeding.)

2. Stir the Parmesan cheese, salt and cayenne into the pesto.

3. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until just tender.

4. Drain the pasta, return it to the empty pot, and toss it with the pesto, adding a TBS. or two of water if necessary to distribute the pesto evenly. Transfer the pasta to a serving bowl or to individual plates and garnish with Parmesan cheese, if you like, and serve.

Serves four. Recipe from Vegetarian Planet by Didi Emmons.

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