Upgrade your regular sauce to this quick and easy pasta with rocket pesto – A delicious refreshing meal ready in 15 min only.

Italian pesto is one of the most “express” sauces in the world. It only takes two minutes to make it, and in a blink you have a quick, refreshing and colorful pasta sauce. I love this rocket pesto sauce almost as much as the traditional basil pesto recipe. The method is pretty much the same, although rocket is used in place of basil and pine nuts are replaced with toasted almond flakes.

To make rocket pesto, you only need 6 ingredients : fresh baby rocket leaves, toasted almond flakes (crumbled almonds are ok too!), freshly grated Parmesan cheese, Extravirgin olive oil, the zest of a lemon and a garlic clove.


Making your own pesto is impressively easy: just put all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. To add extra crunchiness, I leave aside a few almonds flakes, and add them directly when mixing pasta & pesto together, it gives a fantastic sweet and nutty note. The final touch? A little lemon zest freshly grated on top of your pasta with pesto sauce.

Although you can use your favorite pasta shapes, I always pair rocket pesto with fusilli pasta. It brings back all my child memories, when my mum used to make this recipe. Everywhere at home would smell delicious, and me and my brothers would have at least 2 pasta refills, because it was so addictively tasty, you couldn’t stop eating it.

In this tasty fusilli with rocket pesto recipe I’ve used Garofalo Fusilloni, which are a little bit bigger than usual fusilli. I love Garofalo pasta range, as it never fails to deliver “al dente” pasta, and all the shapes are bronze drawn (trafilati al bronzo). This means the pasta dough passes through special dyes or moulds made of bronze, which gives the pasta a rough surface to attract and bind the sauce perfectly. The fusilloni are the perfect pair for pesto (and my mum knew it all along), as they embrace the sauce at the very best, making each mouthful bursts with flavors.


To add extra flavor, you can also mix into your fusilli with rocket pesto a generous  portion of seared king prawns – super tasty!

Not only it tastes amazing, but this quick and easy pasta with rocket pesto is packed with healthy benefits incredibly good for you.
Rocket has diuretic, depurative, digestive and tonic properties. Rich in potassium , iron, calcium and vitamins A & C  and antioxidants, eating fresh rocket can help cleaning and detoxy your body.

This Italian pasta with rocket pesto recipe is ready in 15 min and completely vegetarian, a tasty choice for a quick spring-perfect meatless Monday lunch!



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This Italian pasta with rocket pesto recipe is ready in 15 min and completely vegetarian, a tasty choice for a quick spring-perfect meatless Monday lunch!
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Quick and Easy Pasta with Rocket Pesto

This pasta with rocket pesto recipe is ready in 15 min and completely vegetarian, a tasty choice for a quick spring-perfect meatless Monday lunch!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 2
Author: The Petite Cook


For the Rocket Pesto:

  • 60 gr/2oz rocket leaves
  • 50 gr/1 3/4oz toasted almond flakes
  • 3 tbsp Parmesan cheese freslhy grated
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 100 ml/ 3fl oz Extravirgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove optional
  • salt and freshly grated black pepper

To serve:

  • 160 gr/5oz Garofalo fusilloni or fusilli pasta
  • zest of half lemon freshly grated
  • Parmesan cheese to taste
  • 2 tbsp almond flakes
  • a bunch of rocket leaves


  • Bring a large pot of lightly salted to a boil, then fold in the fusilli pasta and cook until al dente ( about 10 min).
  • In the meantime, prepare the pesto sauce.
  • Fold all the ingredients and 1/3 of the olive oil into a food processor, and blitz to a thick paste.
  • With the motor running on low speed, slowly add the remaining oil through the feed tube.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water.
  • Transfer the pasta back into the pot, mix in a desired amount of pesto sauce and cooking water. Add freshly grated parmesan and decorate with extra rocket leaves, almond flakes and lemon zest, and serve immediately. Enjoy!
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This post is sponsored by Pastificio Garofalo. I love this bran