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Whole-Wheat Pappardelle with Arugula Pesto and Corn

Pancetta and an almond-arugula pesto make this whole-wheat pasta dish especially luscious.

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

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  • 2 cups loosely packed wild arugula (about 1 ounce), plus more arugula for garnish

  • 1 medium garlic clove, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons toasted sliced almonds

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • Salt

  • 1/2 pound dried whole-wheat pappardelle

  • 3 ounces pancetta, sliced 1/8 inch thick and cut into 1/2-inch strips

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion

  • Kernels cut from 2 ears of corn (1 cup)

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for serving


  1. In a pot of salted boiling water, blanch the 2 cups of arugula for 30 seconds. Using tongs, transfer the arugula to a colander and rinse under cold water. Squeeze the arugula dry and transfer to a blender. Add the garlic and almonds and pulse until finely chopped. With the blender on, gradually add the olive oil in a slow steady stream; season with salt.
  2. Add the pappardelle to the boiling water and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the pancetta over moderate heat, stirring, until browned, 5 minutes. Spoon off most of the fat. Add the onion to the skillet and cook until translucent, 5 minutes. Add the corn and cook until crisp-tender, 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Add the pasta, reserved pasta water, pesto and butter to the skillet and cook, tossing, until the pasta is hot and evenly coated. Season with salt and transfer to a bowl. Garnish with arugula leaves and serve, passing grated cheese at the table.

Suggested Pairing

Ripe, full-bodied Chardonnay.

Contributed By Photo © Jonny Valiant Published October 2013

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