Fusilli Pasta with Arugula, Sun Dried Tomatoes and Pea Pesto
Fusilli are a corkscrew shaped pasta originating from southern Italy. The term fusilli seemingly comes from the word fuso or "spindle" as the original handmade versions were made by wrapping a string of spaghetti around a rod in order to get a corkscrew shape. Now a days often what you'll find on the supermarket shelves labled fusilli (or sometimes even rotini in America) are made by extruding pasta dough through bronze dies to get the beloved corkscrew shape. The end result is a surface that is often more porous than handmade fusilli making it a perfect marriage for the sauce to easily cling to the surface instead of slipping off. The fusilli pasta is then dried (at low temperatures by artisanal manufactures and often high temperatures by industrial manufactures) before being packaged and sold. Dried packaged pasta is a stable in Italian diets, while hand made pasta typically is reserved for special occasions.
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the coarse salt followed by the pasta. Cook al dente according to the instructions on the package.
In a medium sized pot add the peas to boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes. Drain. Add the boiled peas to a food processor along with the rest of the ingredients for the pea pesto and blend until smooth. Add more extra virgin olive oil if needed to arrive at a pesto like consistency. Pour the pea pesto into a large skillet and heat over low heat.
Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water. Add the pasta to the skillet with the pesto, adding a bit of reserved water. Add the sun dried tomatoes and arugula and continue cooking for another minute until the arugula leaves are wilted. Serve the pasta with grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and organic lemon zest. Buon appetito!