It may be warm here in NoVA now - but getting fresh basil is still tough. If you do have access to basil, chances are it's being grown in some warmer clime and then trucked or flown hundreds of miles to your local grocery store. How about trying this pesto made with cold weather arugula instead?
12 ounces baby arugula washed and spun dry
4 medium garlic cloves, peeled
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup hulled, toasted pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper and salt if used (depending on how salted your pasta water is)
2/3 cup Robust extra-virgin olive oil
Cook your pasta based on the instructions. (I used fresh pasta pictured above)
Meanwhile, combine arugula, garlic, lemon juice, half of the cheese, pumpkin seeds, in a food processor. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in olive oil and process until evenly blended until finely processed. No more than a minute tops. Season well with salt (if using) and freshly ground black pepper.
Drain pasta and toss with the arugula pesto and mix until evenly combined. Serve immediately with reserved cheese sprinkled on top.