Happy New Year everyone! I got a few new cookbooks this holiday season and have been so excited about sharing some of my new favorite recipes with you all. Back in November my mother got me Gwyneth Paltrow's "My Fathers Daughter" for my birthday and I have been cooking through it ever since. I highly recommend this book with its beautiful pictures, interesting narratives, and simple yet delicious recipes like broiled salmon with homemade teriyaki sauce, Asian portabello burgers, broccoli and cheese soup (which is healthy and so, so good-I'll be blogging about that one!) artichoke and parmesan frittata, and of course this easy arugula and tomato pasta.
The arugula that gets thrown in at the end wilts and becomes a welcome, bright green and healthy addition to the dish. It's like having a salad right in the pasta instead of on the side, which I love. I really like that it's done with arugula instead of spinach since it can make your teeth gritty. I can't stand that!
I have already made this twice, which is big for me, and it was love at first bite for the whole family. Everything about the sauce is simple, but after you let it simmer for an hour it gets really silky and decadent and really, really tasty! I really like how she uses whole tomatoes for this recipe because they cook down and while you do break them apart with a wooden spoon, you are still left with hefty chunks which are delicious with the bite of the pasta and arugula. The Parmesan cheese on top is the perfect salty compliment.
Plan to use the whole box of arugula. It wilts down quite a bit and you could even stand to put more in. We love arugula in this house. Originally this recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds to be crushed and added to the sauce for a subtle sweetness, but it's really not something I'm into. If that sort of thing excites you, by all means, add it in with the chile flakes.
Plan ahead. This one is super easy, but you need to let the sauce simmer for 1 hour.
Arugula and Tomato Pasta
adapted from My Fathers Daughter, by Gwyneth Paltrow
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
5 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes
2 28-oz cans whole tomatoes with their juice
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 lb box spaghetti (I used whole wheat)
1 5-oz box of fresh arugula (about 4 large handfuls)
Grated Parmesan Cheese, for serving
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat, add the garlic and chile flakes and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes, or until very fragrant. Add the tomatoes and their juice, season with 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and pepper to taste, turn the heat to high, and bring the sauce to a boil. Turn the heat to medium low and let the sauce cook on a low boil for 1 hour. Crush the tomatoes in half with a wooden spoon just before serving.
About 10 minutes before you're ready to eat, boil the spaghetti in salted boiling water. A minute before it's al dente, add the arugula to the pasta pot. Drain the pasta and arugula and toss them with the tomato sauce. Serve each portion with plenty of grated Parmesan.
By the way, if any of you missed my post on the three detoxifying juices and smoothies and are looking to become healthier in the new year, go check it out and see if any are for you. I personally like the beet+carrot+apple+mint juice the best.