Sunday, November 27, 2011

Whole Wheat Pasta Arrabbiata with Spinach

Thanksgiving was a wonderful time with family and included the best stuffing a vegetarian, vegan or carnivore could imagine. My mom makes it every year. She puts cornbread, toasted pine nuts and fresh sage... oh so glad we have leftovers. This year my dad, sister and I, each had separate conversations with my mom about making sure there would be enough leftovers. My mom insisted we would have plenty. We all cracked up about it when we realized we were all so concerned. I guess you would have to taste this stuffing to understand. It's just that good. We're both relieved it's over though. 

Now back to normal life. Cleaning. Going through recipes and magazines. Watching Christmas movies. Practicing for the Christmas choir. Christmas shopping... and back in the kitchen again. This time I made a pasta recipe from Rachel Ray's magazine. With leftover baby spinach in the fridge, broccoli, and random pasta in the cabinet, the dinner menu was starting to come together. Now to alter this recipe a tad..

Whole Wheat Pasta Arrabbiata with Arugula

1 lb. whole wheat penne rigate (I used 2 kinds)
1/4 C. EVOO
1 sm. red onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, grated or minced
1 t. crushed red pepper flakes
1 T. balsamic vinegar
1 28-oz. can diced fire-roasted tomatoes (I used regular)
Black pepper
1 C. grated pecorino-romano cheese (I served nutritional yeast on the side)
4 C. arugula, coarsely chopped (I used spinach)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving a ladleful of the cooking water.
While the pasta is working, in a deep skillet, heat the EVOO, 4 turns of the pan, over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and crushed red pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the vinegar, then the tomatoes. Season to taste with salt and black pepper and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. 
Add the pasta and reserved pasta cooking water to the skillet and toss for 1 minute. Add the cheese, then toss in the arugula and cook until wilted, 1 minute longer. Serve!

 I served this dish with roasted broccoli I had tossed with walnut oil, cracked black pepper, garlic and Maldon Sea Salt Flakes I got when I was in London. The pasta was really tasty...basically a marinara sauce with a kick from the red pepper flakes. 
 I hope your thanksgiving's were filled with good memories and delightful food to pass around the table. 

Anyone have any memories to share? 

Chef Teebs

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