Wolfgang Puck’s Perfect Pesto for Summertime Pasta Recipe

One of the best things about pesto is that it is easy to make and has almost endless variations. This pesto pasta recipe is just as simple but it’s the added ingredients in it that make it stand out. The sun-dried tomato provides some bright contrasting color and hints of sweetness whereas the arugula leaves add yet another dimension with their pleasantly bitter taste.

Wolfgang Puck’s Perfect Pesto for Summertime Pasta Recipe

How To Make Perfect Pesto for Summertime Pasta

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 30 mins


  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1 lb linguine, or fettuccine or other pasta strands, uncooked
  • 1 cup pasta water, reserved, use as needed
  • 24 whole fresh basil leaves
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup tomatoes, oil-packed, sun-dried, drained and cut into thin julienne strips
  • 8 oz baby arugula leaves
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated


  1. Roast the pine nuts in a small, dry skillet over low heat until they darken slightly in color, stirring frequently for 2 to 3 minutes.

  2. Immediately remove the nuts from the pan and set them aside to cool.

  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a full rolling boil. Cook the linguine according to the manufacturer's suggested cooking time until al dente (tender but still chewy).

  4. Once pasta is done, drain it and reserve 1 cup of the pasta water.

Making the pesto

  1. In a food processor fitted with a stainless-steel blade or a blender, combine the basil, garlic, olive oil, pine nuts and salt.

  2. Process or blend on high speed until smoothly pureed, stopping several times as necessary to scrape down the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula.

Assembling the pasta

  1. Transfer the drained pasta to a mixing bowl. Add the pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, arugula leaves and balsamic vinegar.

  2. Toss well, adding just enough of the reserved pasta water to help the pesto coat the pasta thoroughly and evenly.

  3. With pasta serving spoons, transfer the linguine to individual large, shallow serving bowls. Serve immediately with Parmesan cheese on the side to add to taste.


  • Sugar: 4g
  • :
  • Calcium: 305mg
  • Calories: 518kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 67g
  • Cholesterol: 4mg
  • Fat: 22g
  • Fiber: 6g
  • Iron: 6mg
  • Potassium: 920mg
  • Protein: 17g
  • Saturated Fat: 3g
  • Sodium: 231mg
  • Vitamin A: 6233IU
  • Vitamin C: 42mg
Nutrition Disclaimer
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