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Saturday, June 12, 2010

Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes and Arugula

Here's another light, quick, and easy recipe. I've been trying to use up some random ingredients in the kitchen and stumbled upon this recipe that would take care of that pint of cherry tomatoes and wilting arugula. When mom was visiting, she asked what arugula was. I didn't have a good answer. It's been mixed in lettuce blends I've had before, but I could never really pinpoint the taste. This recipe really brings out the flavor of arugula. I'll describe it as how I described it to Ron, "A peppery spinach taste." He likes spinach, so now he likes arugula. It definitely does taste like a peppery spinach. It's pretty potent on its own. I discovered this when I tried to make an entire salad out of it (never again), so it's normally mixed with a milder lettuce to enhance the flavor.

This recipe was very good. We both went back for seconds. I added pine nuts. I can't seem to eat pasta without pine nuts. I also added a bit more cheese. With some alterations to the tomato-dressing mixture, it could probably be made with chicken if you're looking for a protein to be mixed in. Time to table was 20-25 minutes. Well worth it.
Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes and Arugula
adapted from Eating for England
Yield: 4-5 hearty servings
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved if small, quartered if large
  • 1 plump garlic clove, minced or put through a press (more to taste)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar (optional)
  • 1 cup arugula leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon slivered or chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 3/4 pound fusille, farfalle, or orecchiette
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated ricotta salata or Parmesan (more to taste)
  1. Combine the cherry tomatoes, garlic, salt, balsamic vinegar, arugula, basil, pine nuts, and olive oil in a wide bowl. Let sit for 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add a generous amount of salt and the pasta. Cook al dente, until the pasta is firm to the bite. Drain, toss with the tomatoes, sprinkle on the cheese, and serve,

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