Rocket Pesto Pasta is a delicious vegetarian pasta recipe that is simple to make! Make homemade Rocket and Cashew Pesto and stir it through for dinner tonight. This easy pesto pasta is perfect any night of the week!
Vegetarian Pasta Dinner recipes make cooking a breeze! Find comfort in the Tomato Mac and Cheese or Lemon Ricotta Pasta.
If spaghetti is your thing but you want more protein, try the Smoked Salmon Spaghetti recipe. For a different pesto recipe try the Basil and Cashew Pesto and stir it through past in the Pesto Pasta with walnut crumb.
Add a little bacon and try the Bacon Pesto Pasta! or for a colour change try either the Sun-dried Tomato Pesto or Roast Capsicum Pesto as an alternative!
For everything you need to know about making pesto, read my How to Make Pesto guide.
What does Rocket taste like?
Rocket is a herb that has a peppery bitter taste.
It is perfect for use in salads, sandwiches, on pizzas, on meats and fish.
Found alongside it's popular sidekick, spinach, rocket is a 'must try' if you haven't cooked with it yet!
Substitute it for the spinach and try the Artichoke Spaghetti!
Homemade Pesto Pasta
Homemade Pesto is a great way to use up extra herbs if you grow them in abundance, or experiment with if you want to try something different,
Basil Pesto is generally the most popular flavour of pesto recipes, but for different pesto recipes rocket and cashew is a tasty choice!
Pesta pasta is a flavour packed recipe and something different from the old faithful Slow Cooker Spaghetti Bolognese.
What can pesto be used for?
Pesto is a versatile ingredient and can be used in many recipes, here are some ideas:
- stir through pasta
- use as a pizza sauce
- flatbread spread
- sauce for meats and fish
- as a dip
- to add flavour to a breakfast plate
- as part of a grazing platter board
- dressing for a salad
A few additional benefits are the pesto can be stored in the fridge or freezer and gets better the longer it sits.
We use simple, easy to find ingredients for this recipe. The photo below shows you what you need:
As you can see, we have:
- rocket pesto
- pasta (you can use your favourite type)
- parmesan cheese
- olive oil
Tasty Tip: you can use different types of pasta for this recipe! I have used spaghetti for the post. You can try with this, penne, curly, macaroni, orzo and more!
How to make Rocket Pesto Pasta
The photos below are the easy step by step instructions you need to bring this dish together:
- Toast nuts till golden (approx 5 mins) (Photo 1)
- Cook pasta according to package instructions, then drain (Photo 2)
- Spoon pesto into pasta and stir to combine (Photo 3)
- Top pesto pasta with nuts, cracked pepper and parmesan cheese (Photo 4)
You can toast the nuts in the microwave as a quick option also!
The pasta tastes delicious as it is covered with fresh, herby, garlicky, pesto with parmesan coming through .
The nuts give this dish great texture and pops of flavour and colour too!
Rocket Pesto Pasta recipe quick info:
About the recipe:
- we only need 6 ingredients for this recipe!
- you can use walnuts if you don't have pine nuts
- this recipe will feed 4 people
- I used plain pistachios and pine nuts (ie not salted)
FAQs about Rocket Pesto Spaghetti
- this is a vegetarian recipe
- the nuts toast very quickly
- you can make the pesto ahead of time and use when needed
- the pesto will last for 1 week in the fridge
Your quick questions answered:
- This is a quick and easy recipe
- You can store extra pesto in the freezer
- This is a FREEZER FRIENDLY recipe
- This is an EASY recipe
These tips are to help you master this recipe from the 1st time you make it:
- if you like the idea of this, are home and have store bought pesto, you can try that too!
- cook the pasta till it is al dente! so it has that little bit of firmness to it
- squeeze half a fresh lemon over the pasta for an extra zesty freshness!
- freeze this recipe for easy meals during the week
Try it with rocket cashew pesto one week and basil pesto the next!
Parmesan cheese is a great addition on top of the pasta as it compliments the parmesan in the pesto but gives great texture also!
Pasta is the ultimate comfort food, here are some further recipes you might like to try:
- Artichoke Spaghetti
- Instant Pot Penne Pasta
- Blue Cheese Mac and Cheese
- Ground Beef Casserole
- Tuna Pasta Bake
- Slow Cooker Spaghetti Bolognese
- Smoked Salmon Spaghetti
- Bacon Pesto Pasta
- Pesto Penne
- Creamy Mushroom Tagliatelle
If you want to make your own pesto, use this recipe for Rocket and Cashew Pesto and follow the process to make the pesto like in the photo below. Or try the Basil and Cashew Pesto or Sundried Tomato Pesto for a great alternative.
Both are easily done in the food processor!
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Rocket Pesto Pasta
- Instant Pot
Rocket Pesto Pasta
- 500 grams pasta Note 1
- ⅓ cup pistachios Note 2
- ⅓ cup pine nuts Note 3
- Parmesan cheese to taste
- cracked pepper to garnish
Rocket Pesto (with cashew nuts)
- 2 cups rocket leaves Note 4
- ½ cup parmesan cheese Note 5
- ½ cup cashew nuts Note 6
- ½ cup olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic peeled and end cut off
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice to taste
Rocket Pesto Pasta
- Make the rocket pesto with cashews and set aside
- Toast the pistachios and pine nuts in a pan on the stove (or microwave) for 4-5 mins, set aside Note 6
- Cook pasta according to packet instructions, drain and add to a round wide fry pan
- Use a spoon to scoop the pesto into the pasta and stir to combine (stir, stir, stir, till covered!)
- Top the rocket pesto pasta with the cooked nuts.
- Top with parmesan cheese and cracked pepper
Rocket Pesto with cashews
- Add rocket, cashews, parmesan cheese, garlic and olive oil to a food processor
- Blitz till combined
- Scrap the sides down with a spatular, taste the pesto, add lemon juice (taste as you go), the blitz again to combine.
Instant Pot Spaghetti (noodles only)
- If you want to make the spaghetti in the Instant Pot, add the pasta, enough water to cover and cook it for the time on the packet, divided by 2 and subtract 1 minute. (For example spaghetti packet indicated 9 mins on the stove, cook in the Instant Pot for 4 mins.
- Note 1 As you can see, I used spaghetti. Go for that or your favourite pasta! This is a very versatile recipe and adapts to most pastas (penne, curly, orzo, fettucine etc)
- Note 2 I used plain unsalted or roasted pistachios
- Note 3 Pine nuts almost never come salted or roasted, they are found in the cooking area of the supermarket with the spices
- Note 4 Rocket has a peppery bitter taste to it. It is known as arugula in some places
- Note 5 Go for the variety that has extra bold/sharp flavours, other versions can be a bit plain and have no bite to them.
- Note 6 If you are using the microwave to toast your nuts, do it in 1 mins bursts. They can overcook very quickly and you won't have as much control over them in the microwave as you can't see them toasting. They will also toast on the stove very quickly, turn them off as soon as they are lightly browned as they will cook for a minute or 2 longer.
Lauren Vavala | Delicious Little Bites says
It took me a minute to remember that rocket is what we commonly call arugula in the US and I LOVE the peppery flavor. This pesto pasta dish sounds so, so good and perfect for summer!
My kids LOVES pasta and continuously ask for this pesto pasta. So filing, easy to make and delicious. Cant go wrong!
Cheers for your feedback Mirlene, absolutely, you cannot go wrong with this! Thanks