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Red Pesto Pasta with Arugula and Sausage


6 Servings

The pesto in this recipe is unique and delicious. That said, it may not come together like a standard pesto. But do not be tempted to add more cheese. In fact a little secret to get this pesto (and other pestos, aiolis, etc) to emulsify better is by simply adding a bit of water. Blend again and you should have a beautiful sauce. This dish is a great for a gathering or pot-luck as it can be served both hot and at room temperature.


Red Pesto Ingredients:

DoubleX Tomato Paste, 4-5 Ts

Walnuts (toasted), ¼ Cup

Arugula, One handful

Anchovies, 4

Olive Oil, ¼ Cup

Garlic Cloves, 2-3 cloves – smashed

Parmesan Cheese or Follow Your Heart Parmesan Cheese, 3 Ts

Salt and Pepper

Pasta Ingredients:

GF Pasta, 3/4 pound

Fennel Bulb, 1 Med (sliced  ¼” wide)

Red Onion, 1 Med (sliced ¼” wide)

Uncooked Chicken or Vegan Sausage, Pinched into 1” pieces

Olive Oil, 2 Tbs.

Arugula, 2 Handfuls

Garlic, 3-4 Cloves - minced

Red Pepper Flakes 1 Tbs.

Salt and Pepper

Parmesan Cheese or Follow Your Heart Parmesan cheese

Please buy organic whenever possible!


Sauce Instructions:

In a small sauté pan on medium heat – combine the anchovies (plus a bit of anchovy oil) and the garlic.  Sauté for about 3-4 minutes until the anchovies have broken up and the garlic has lightly browned – add the tomato paste and continue to sauté until the paste has darkened up.  Turn off the heat and scrape the tomato mixture into a blender or a container to use with a submersion blender.  Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.  Add about 1/2 cup of water, salt and pepper – blend again.  The mixture should emulsify and look creamy.  Taste for salt correction (if needed). Set aside.

Pasta Instructions:

Pre-heat the oven to 375º F.


Boil the water to make the pasta.   In a medium size prep bowl, combine the fennel, red onion, and garlic.  Toss with olive oil, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper. Using a sheet pan, arrange the veggies and pinch off ~ 1” - 1 1/2" sized pieces of sausage and place in and around the veggies.  Roast veggies for 20 – 25 minutes or until fennel have softened and the sausage pieces have cooked through.  *Always a good idea to toss the veggies at the halfway point to ensure even roasting.


Make pasta according to instructions – DO NOT OVERCOOK.  When it is cooked – place in a large prep bowl.  Add about a cup of the red pesto and toss to coat.  Once the pasta is nicely coated, add the roasted veggies and the arugula – toss gently, finish with a couple of tablespoons of parmesan cheese and serve! ** Add more pesto as needed.

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