Prep/Cook Time: 18 minutes
Serves 6 / Ingredient tips: Mugwort, an antimicrobial herb, combines with buckwheat to yield a soba noodle that keeps its shape better than most. Look for mugwort soba noodles in the macrobiotic section of your natural foods market, or substitute any pasta you wish. Prep tips: If you have time, soak the walnuts in boiling water for 10–15 minutes, then drain and peel off as much of the bitter skins as possible; this makes a smoother, milder pesto. Add chopped fresh tomatoes or steamed broccoli to this dish for extra texture and nutrients.
5 ounces baby arugula leaves (2 ½ cups packed)
4 cloves garlic
1/3 cup walnut halves, peeled if possible (see note above)
5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon very fresh walnut oil, divided
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup grated pecorino Sardo or Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon crème fraîche (optional, but very good)
1 pound low-sodium or mugwort soba or other whole-grain pasta
1. Coarsely chop arugula. Whirl garlic in a food processor until chopped; add arugula, walnuts, and 5 tablespoons walnut oil. Pulse a few times to chop finely. Add salt, pepper, cheese, and crème fraîche (if using). Process to a smooth paste. Scrape into a small bowl, smooth the top, and cover surface with remaining 1 teaspoon walnut oil. Makes 1 ¼ cups.
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add soba and cook 6–10 minutes, until just barely tender. Drain, keeping 1–2 tablespoons water in the pot. Toss thoroughly with pesto and serve at once.
PER SERVING: 473 cal, 38% fat cal, 21g fat, 4g sat fat, 13mg chol, 18g protein, 59g carb, 5g fiber, 502mg sodium