Fresh Fridays: Tomato, Pine Nut and Arugula Pesto Pasta with Sausage

In this series, local chefs give us their favorite recipes, full of fresh, seasonal ingredients, just in time for the weekend.

By Chef Rich Baringer,

I love basil pesto—every year when we approach the end of basil season, we make a load of it, spoon it into ice cube trays and freeze it. Then, in the dead of winter, we can have a taste of summer by simply thawing it and tossing with pasta. But basil pesto is not the only pesto there is….far from it!

Pesto sauces are great because they usually can be whipped up in a food processor in just a few minutes. Using fresh and local ingredients gives the sauce that special taste that comes with this time of year.

This recipe uses two of my favorites from the farm—cherry tomatoes and arugula. It’s simple, delicious and quick. I use sweet Italian sausage (from Blooming Glen Pork), but you could use your favorite sausage or even chicken. I grilled mine, but cook it however you like. It’ll be good no matter how you do it!

Arugula, Blue Moon Acres

Tomato, Pine Nut and Arugula Pesto Pasta with Sausage

(adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Quick Family Cookbook)
Serves 4


1 lb sweet Italian sausage, cooked and sliced into coins
12 oz cherry tomatoes
¾ cup arugula
1 oz Parmesan cheese, grated (about ½ cup)
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
1 small pepperoncini, stemmed, seeded and minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1¼ tsp lemon zest
1 tsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper
Pinch red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
¹⁄3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound pasta of your choice


  1. Cook pasta al dente according to package directions.
  2. Process tomatoes, arugula, Parmesan, pine nuts, pepperoncini, garlic, 1 tsp salt and pepper flakes in a food processor until smooth, 30-60 seconds. Scrape bowl as needed.
  3. With processor running, slowly add oil until incorporated. Transfer to a bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Toss with pasta and sausage. Serve.

Rich Baringer is chef/owner of Dinner’s Done Personal Chef Service.  Rich grew up in Haycock Township and has lived (and eaten) in Bucks County his whole life. He now lives in Blooming Glen Village with his wife, Mary Beth, his son Jake, and Ophelia, the cat. Rich graduated from the Culinary Business Academy in Atlanta, is a member of the U.S. Personal Chef Association and owns Dinner’s Done Personal Chef Service. For more information about Dinner’s Done PCS, contact Rich at 215.804.6438, or check out his website.

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