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Pasta with Broccoli, Arugula and Tomatoes

I’ve had arugula before, but I have never personally cooked with it. As it happned, I have some growing in my yard this spring.

Arugula is a bitter green, also know as “aromatic” by people who find bitter to be too negative a word. It has a peppery flavor that kicks in a few seconds after you begin to chew on it. It wilts like spinach, so it can be used in many of the same applications, like pasta dishes and salads. I had a nice bit of broccoli in my fridge that I wanted to use and some arugula seemed like a good accent to a broccoli-pasta dish.

This was a fun dish, with the unusual pasta shape and bright flavors of all the ingredients. The only change I would make would be to add the cheese a bit earlier, as noted in the recipe below, to give it a change to melt slightly into the sauce. It was a good combo and incredibly simple to make. Who doesn’t love that in a weeknight dinner? This recipe is also flexible, so if you prefer a more veggie-heavy dish, simply increase the amount of broccoli and reduce the pasta a bit. Vice versa, if you decide you are having a grving for the pasta itself

Pasta with Broccoli, Arugula and Tomatoes

2 cups broccoli florets (8 oz)

2 cups Fiori pasta (6 oz) (or other small shape)

1 can (14-16 oz) fire roasted tomatoes (or 8 medium tomatoes, roasted)

3-4 cloves garlic

2 cups arugula

1/2 cup feta (or other cheese)

salt and pepper

Bring water to a boil in a pot large enough to hold pasta and broccoli. Add salt, then add pasta and broccoli. Boil for 6-7 minutes, until pasta is al dente.

Meanwhile, saute garlic in a bit of olive oil in a large saucepan for 1-2 minutes. Add tomatoes and crush with a spatula. Turn heat to low, add salt and pepper to taste. Add arugula.

Drain pasta and broccoli and pour into saucepan with tomatoes and arugula. Add feta cheese. Turn heat up to medium and cook for two minutes, until sauce is hot and arugula is slightly wilted.

Serve with crusty bread.

Makes 3-4 servings, depending on appetites of those served.

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  • Ana
    May 4, 2005

    Looks very tasty Nic. And so simple to make. This is great as a brown bag lunch. I’m always looking for recipes that I can mak for lunch that do not need to be re-heated.

    Interesting your choice of feta cheese. I have a tendency for Parmegiano for these types of dishes, but I’ll try the feta.

  • Nic
    May 4, 2005

    Ana – I like feta because it’s a bit different and a bit saltier than parm is, which goes nicely with the veggies. I think that goat cheese would be really good, too. If I had had any leftovers, I would surely have taken them for lunch!

  • Andrea
    May 5, 2005

    Oh, look at that! Great pic! I never had arugula, don’t even know whether I can get it in England.
    I agree with the choice of cheese. I use feta and grated haloumi..nice and saulty as you said.

  • Nic
    May 5, 2005

    Dreska – I really think that salty cheeses go well in most salads, since they play off veggies so well. I hope you have a chance to find arugula, it’s a great ingredient.

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