Pin It

Arugula Pesto Pasta Recipe

So yesterday I published this great arugula pesto recipe… Today we’ll take that recipe a step further and use it in a tasty pasta dish – something I like to call an arugula pesto pasta recipe. This recipe also features tomatoes and bacon.  YUM. It’s a dish I’ve made for years and now I’m finally sharing it with you fine folks.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.


Let’s just jump right into the recipe and ingredients, shall we? As you can see below this pasta is made from many delicious things like bacon, tomato, pesto, sweet onions, parmesan cheese. Overall this is a rather healthy recipe, low in saturated fats and loaded with healthy veggies like tomato, onions and arugula. The bacon in this dish is minimal, it averages to about a slice per person. Definitely a reasonable portion.


Normally I don’t do anything real fancy with bacon, but this time I decided to try to shape them like lardons. They’re much thinner than a real lardon but still have the oblong shape. As I’ve said before I like to buy bacon and freeze the slices individually. I then wrap it in foil or place in a freezer Ziploc bag and then pull and use as needed. Frozen bacon is much easier to chop than bacon from the fridge so it really works out well.  You can see below the stages of bacon from frozen to delicious bite-sized morsels. It was really tempting to eat them all but I refrained. I have some self-control…


When we’re in the winter months, I like to use smaller tomatoes like cherry, grape or Roma, as I’ve used here. Romas are great because they are a meatier tomato than the normal beefsteak-type ones you find in the grocery store. They contain less water than the “regular” tomatoes so they produce a richer flavor. I love to just quarter them length-wise and then slice about an eighth of an inch thick and stir into whatever I’m making. They’re also really good in a salad that way.


We talked at length about pesto yesterday so we’d be repetitive to go back to it again today. Suffice it to say, yesterday’s recipe is enough for a double batch of this pasta. You can save the rest for sandwiches, eggs or other pastas. It’s good for up to a week in the fridge so you’ll have many more opportunities to use it all.


I’ve recently found this pasta shape, and I wanted to tell you more about it.  Whole Foods has quite a few shapes in their store brand line, and this one’s my new favorite – casarecce. They are traditionally made from sheets of pappardelle pasta and are rolled like little scrolls on the edges. How cute! They’re great for chunky sauces and for pastas with more ingredients that sauce, like this recipe! Try them out if you’ve not yet.


Finally, the cooking method for this pasta is relatively easy. After the bacon is rendered and the onions are cooked down, the tomato is added just to be softened and get juicy. After that the cooked bacon, pesto, pasta and parmesan cheese are mixed in and the dish is ready for serving. Below is my best pictorial representation of that last step.  I think it worked out pretty well!


This recipe is as tasty as it is good for you. Ready in under an hour, it’s definitely the type of meal that can be added to the week night roster. Or it’s special enough to make on the weekend when you’re looking to impress someone.


I’m hungry.  Are you? Good – let’s get to the recipe!

Yield: 4 servings

Arugula Pesto Pasta Recipe

This arugula pesto pasta recipe features roma tomatoes, bacon, sweet onions and loads of Parmesan cheese. It tastes very good and it's good for you too!


  • 1-16 ounce box of shaped pasta such as casarecce or elbow
  • 4 slices of bacon, cut into 1/8" strips
  • 1 tablespoon light olive oil (optional)
  • 1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 roma tomatoes, quartered and cut into 1/8" thick slices
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese + 2 tablespoons extra for garnish
  • 1/2 cup arugula pesto


  1. Start by cooking the pasta according to package directions.
  2. While the water is heating and the pasta is cooking, start on the rest of the recipe.
  3. Over medium high heat in a pot, render the bacon. Once it's crispy, remove the bacon and set to drain on paper towels.
  4. If the pot looks a little sparse on oil, you can add a tablespoon of olive oil to the pot.
  5. Once that's hot, add the onion, kosher salt and cayenne pepper.
  6. Slowly sauté the onion until it is softened, about 12-15 minutes.
  7. Add the tomatoes and cook until just softened, about 3 minutes.
  8. Once done, remove from heat and stir in the parmesan cheese, bacon pieces, arugula pesto and cooked pasta.
  9. Top with additional parmesan cheese and serve.

If you need to prepare the arugula pesto, add 10 minutes to the prep time.

Prep:25 minutes

Cook:30 minutes

Total:55 minutes

Print Recipe


    Pin It

Related Posts