Chewy pasta arugula pesto baby turnips and greens

Recipe for ‘Chewy’ Pasta With Succulent Arugula Pesto And Baby Turnips With Their Greens

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: arugula, pasta
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 541kcal
Author: Andrea at Buttered Veg
This is a satisfying vegetarian pasta dinner that even feels a little gourmet due to the arugula and baby turnips, and your pasta noodles cooked to al dente perfection.
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  • 1/2 pound package of pasta, cooked to al dente
  • 1 cup succulent arugula pesto, get the recipe here
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 small to medium “baby” turnips
  • 6 cups turnip greens, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt, or to taste
for the garnishes
  • finishing salt, to taste
  • fresh lemon juice, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1-2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • small handful of walnuts


  • You will need a large pot for cooking the pasta, a braising pot with a fitted lid, a medium mixing bowl, a slotted spoon, a colander, and a food processor (for the pesto).
Cook the pasta noodles and make the arugula pesto
  • Prepare your turnips by cutting off the greens (if you have them) and peeling the turnips. (Note: If you are using baby turnips you can keep the skins on, as they are less tough at this stage and the skins are full of nutrition.) Slice the turnips into quarter-inch thick, bite-sized pieces and set aside until needed.
  • If you have the turnip greens, chop into 1-inch pieces and wash in a bowl of cold water. Set aside until needed. (You can keep the greens in the water and scoop them out when you are ready to cook them.) Alternately, substitute the turnip greens for kale, radish greens, or green onions. Prepare these the same way.
  • Fill your pasta pot about 2/3 full with water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons salt to the boiling water and stir well.
  • If you are making the arugula pesto, make it now, and use the boiling water to blanch the arugula before cooking the pasta in the same water. If you already have pesto, go ahead and cook your pasta noodles to al dente. Your pasta should be just slightly firm in the center to get your chewy texture. Drain the noodles in a colander, and set the noodles aside.
Cook the turnips sauté and finish the pasta
  • Place a braising pot (one that has a fitted lid), on medium-high heat. Add olive oil and garlic. After the garlic starts to brown, add the turnips, a pinch of salt, and a tablespoon of water.
  • Cover the pot and allow the turnips to cook for 3–5 minutes. Once the turnips are almost just cooked, add the turnip greens (or other greens) and another pinch of salt. Cook uncovered for 1–2 minutes, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are done. Transfer to a bowl and set aside until needed.
  • Use the same pot, and place it back on medium-high heat. Spoon in about a cup of pesto and allow the pesto to warm, stirring frequently, but don’t overcook it so as to preserve the flavor and nutrition of your good quality olive oil. Turn off the heat and dump in your cooked pasta. Use two spoons to combine and coat all the pasta with pesto. Add more pesto if you want.
To serve
  • Plate the pesto noodles in a large serving bowl or individual serving bowls. Top with prepared turnip sauté, a pinch of finishing salt, a squeeze of fresh lemon, fresh black pepper, parmesan cheese, and walnuts.
    Alternately, keep the garnishes separate in tiny bowls and allow individuals to choose how much they want of each. Enjoy!


If you don’t like turnips, substitute with another vegetable, such as cauliflower, potatoes, parsnips, or zucchini.
If you don't have turnip greens, you can substitute with kale, radish greens, green onions, your favorite green, or no greens.
The arugula pesto in this recipe can be substituted with basil pesto, but keep in mind that basil pesto has a stronger flavor.
Here is my recipe for arugula pesto. It contains blanched arugula, fresh spinach, walnuts, fresh lemon, good olive oil, salt, and black pepper.
Finishing salt (also known as flake salt) is an awesome ingredient to have in your pantry. The flakes melt in your mouth differently from regular salt, and the overall salt flavor is milder.
If you haven’t tried flake salt, check this Amazon link. It could change your life!


Calories: 541kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 1049mg | Potassium: 720mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 10810IU | Vitamin C: 87.9mg | Calcium: 338mg | Iron: 2.6mg
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