Healthy Lunch Main Pasta Vegetarian

Pasta with Rocket Pesto Sauce or Orecchiette al Pesto

How to prepare the real Italian recipe of Pasta with Rocket Pesto or “Orecchiette al Pesto di Rucola”

Rocket Pesto is a great alternative to the classic pesto sauce or “Pesto alla Genovese”.  A scented seasoning thanks to the combination of rocket, pine-nuts, olive oil, Parmesan, and Pecorino cheese.  It takes just a few  minutes, perfect option for a last minute dinner with friends. A very simple dish that will surprise your guests, thanks to the bitter aftertaste of the rocket balanced with the pine nuts and cheese. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 4 people

  • 150 grams of Rocket
  • 320 grams of Orecchiette pasta or if you like Spaghetti pasta
  • 70 grams of Pine nuts
  • 50 grams of Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 50 grams of Grated Pecorino Cheese
  • 1 clove of garlic ( remove it if you don’t like the strong garlic flavor or add just a little bit of it)
  • 180 ml of Extra Virgin Olive Oil


  1. Wash the rocket, put it in a blender with Pine Nuts, Parmesan, Pecorino, Olive Oil, Garlic and blend it all. Add salt and pepper to flavor the mixture. The sauce is ready.
  2. If you are not using it right away, add it to a jar, with olive oil on top.
  3. Cook Pasta “al dente” as from instructions on package on salty boiling water in a large pot.
  4. Before draining the pasta, to make the sauce smooth, you can add to it a few tablespoons of cooking water it will make it a bit more liquid. 
  5. Drain the pasta al dente and mix with the rocket sauce. Add Pine-nuts and parsley on top before serving. For the perfectionists: you can also include a couple of slices of baked potatoes on top for decoration.

TIP: To make your pesto even more creamy, you can put some cream cheese spoon, like cottage cheese or Philadelphia.

Posted by Nicoletta and Tiziana

The Real Italian Food. Buon Appetito!