To toast the walnut pieces, put on a baking sheet and into a 350ºF oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Make extra and refrigerate for later use.
1/2 c extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
10 c arugula, washed and chopped, stems removed, if desired
1/2 c toasted walnut pieces, or 2/3 c toasted walnut halves
1/4 t ground nutmeg
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 c grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
12 oz penne (3 c dry)
1/3 lb fresh green beans, cut into thirds
1. Put olive oil and garlic in a small saucepan or skillet over low heat. Cook gently until garlic is fragrant and just starting to brown. Set aside. Meanwhile, loosely fill a food processor with arugula. Coarsely chop. Add more, or the rest of, the arugula and coarsely chop. Add the walnuts, half the warmed oil with the garlic, nutmeg, and some salt and pepper. Pulse the mixture to a thick paste.
2. Transfer the pesto to a large serving bowl. Add the remaining oil and the cheese. Stir to combine. Taste for seasonings. Set aside.
3. Cook penne in boiling water. After about 6 minutes, add the green beans to the pasta pot. Cook together until the pasta is al dente, or done to your preference.
4. Drain pasta and green beans, reserving a cup of the cooking liquid. Add pasta and beans to serving bowl. Toss everything together. If you think it’s a bit dry, add some of the reserving cooking liquid. Serve.