Chicken & Arugula Pesto Pasta


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes



Appears in

The Weeknight Cook

The Weeknight Cook

By Brigit Binns

Published 2012

  • About


  • Garlic, 1 small clove
  • Pine nuts, 2 tablespoons
  • Baby arugula (rocket), 1 ¼ cups ( oz/40 g)
  • Parmesan cheese, ½ cup (2 oz/60 g) freshly grated
  • Olive oil, ¼ cup (2 fl oz/60 ml)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Ziti, 1 lb (500 g)
  • Unsalted butter, 2 tablespoons
  • Classic Roast Chicken or rotisserie chicken, 2 cups (12 oz/375 g) shredded meat
  • Cherry tomatoes, ½ lb (250 g), halved
  • Ricotta salata, 1 cup (4 oz/125 g) crumbled


  • Make the arugula pesto

    Bring a large pot of water to a boil. In a food processor, combine the garlic, pine nuts, arugula, and ¼ cup (1 oz/30 g) of the Parmesan cheese. Pulse to chop. With the machine running, gradually add the oil. Season with ¼ teaspoon salt and several grindings of pepper.

  • Cook the pasta

    Add 2 tablespoons salt and the pasta to the boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until al dente, according to the package directions. Drain, reserving about ½ cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) of the cooking water. Return the pasta to the pot.

  • Finish the pasta

    While the pasta is cooking, in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, 3–4 minutes. Add the chicken to the drained pasta along with the pesto, tomatoes, ricotta salata, and remaining ¼ cup Parmesan cheese. Toss, adding as much of the cooking water as needed to achieve a nice sauce consistency. Season with salt and pepper and serve.