Sunday, February 15, 2009

Pasta with Tomatoes, Arugula and Goat Cheese

Like most of my favorite recipes, this is super fast, easy and delish. This comes from my favorite cook book, like many of my favorite recipes. 

Kosher salt
3/4 lb cavatappi, fusilli or ziti (or any pasta shape that traps and holds sauces)
2 cups loosely packed arugula leaves (I substitute spinach sometimes)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, sans stems
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup crumbled fresh goat cheese
Freshly ground pepper

Bring a large pot three-fourths full of water to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons salt and the pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking water, and place the pasta in a warmed serving bowl. Mix in arugula and keep warm.

Just before the pasta is ready, in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the tomatoes and, holding the pan handle, roll the tomatoes around by jerking the pan toward you, then pushing it away. While the tomatoes cook, sprinkle on the garlic. Keep the tomatoes moving until their skins crack, 1-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Spoon the tomatoes over the pasta. 

Dollop the goat cheese, 1 tablespoon at a time, on top of the tomatoes. Using a large fork and spoon, toss to combine, adding 1 or 2 tablespoons or more of the cooking water if the pasta seems dry. Season with pepper and serve.

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