Homemade whole-wheat fettuccine is a hearty base for an assertive arugula pesto, perfect for those who find basil pesto too sweet. Spanish manchego, a sheep’s milk cheese, lends a unique flavor in place of Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Whole-Wheat Fettuccine with Arugula Pesto
For the whole-wheat pasta:
1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 oz./235 g.) whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup (2 1/2 oz./75 g.) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 Tbs. olive oil
For the arugula pesto:
2 cups (2 oz./60 g.) firmly packed baby arugula leaves
1 cup (1 oz./30 g.) firmly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 large clove garlic, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup (1 oz./30 g.) pine nuts, lightly toasted
1/2 cup (2 oz./60 g.) freshly grated manchego cheese
1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml.) extra-virgin olive oil
Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Kosher salt for cooking pasta
To make the whole-wheat pasta, follow the method described here. Roll out and cut fettuccine as directed and let dry for 30 minutes or up to 3 hours.
To make the pesto, in a food processor, combine the arugula, parsley, garlic, pine nuts, cheese, olive oil and a pinch each of sea salt and pepper. Process to a paste, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the work bowl. Be careful not to overprocess; the consistency of the pesto should be thick and fluid and have a slightly grainy texture. Transfer to a serving bowl large enough to accommodate the pasta later.
In a large pot, bring 5 qt. (5 l.) water to a rapid boil. Add 2 tablespoons kosher salt and the pasta and cover the pot. When the water returns to a boil, uncover, cook for about 5 minutes, and then drain, reserving about 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml.) of the cooking water. Blend a few tablespoons of the cooking water with the pesto to make a creamy consistency, then add the pasta to the bowl and stir and toss with the pesto until the strands are well coated with the sauce, adding a little more of the cooking water if needed to loosen the sauce. Serve right away. Serves 4.