I snagged some baby arugula at the Petaluma farmer’s market yesterday.
Simply drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, a drop or 2 of red wine vinegar and sea salt, the tender peppery arugula is a summer treat.
But arugula isn’t just for salads.
I have more arugula that I want to eat now and I’m in the mood for a simple pasta. This quick recipe fits the bill. The pasta is on your table in the time it takes to cook the pasta.
I like a small short pasta for this dish. I used orecchiette (little ears) but you can use dried cavatelli, ditali or your favorite pasta shape.
What a treat to be able to use this just-cut arugula. I don’t want to lose any of its fresh goodness so I just let the arugula wilt in the heat of the pasta and garlic-infused olive oil.
The orecchiette is bathed in the thick mellow sauce. The lightly toasted garlic slices add a nutty note to the peppery arugula enhanced by light heat from red pepper flakes.
You won’t believe the full flavor from so few ingredients. Simple, quick, healthy and delicious.
- 4 cups arugula
- 1 pound dried orecchiete or your favorite short pasta
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- ¼ teaspoon dried red-pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons sea salt for the pasta water and more to taste if needed
- 1 cup reserved pasta cooking water
- Put on a large pot of salted water to boil. (5 quarts water, 2 tablespoons sea salt)
- When the water is at a rapid boil add the pasta, stir occasionally so the pasta doesn’t stick and cook until the pasta is just al dente.
- While the pasta is cooking make the sauce.
- Put a skillet or pan large enough to hold the pasta over medium-high heat.
- Add the olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes to the pan and cook until the garlic just starts to take on color.
- Reduce the heat to low to keep the sauce warm while the pasta finishes cooking.
- When the pasta is cooked reserve a cup of the cooking water, strain the pasta and add it to the sauce.
- Add some cooking water to thin the sauce and bring the sauce to a simmer.
- Add the arugula, toss well and cook until the arugula starts to wilt.
- Serve immediately with a sprinkle of grated parmigiano.