So, I remember years ago, it was Thanksgiving 2004. My parents and sister decided to join my husband and me at my in-law's house for Thanksgiving dinner. After dinner my parents, sister and I drove to King of Prussia for some Black Friday shopping while my husband spend a few days with his dad at a hunting camp. I was so excited to go to King of Prussia Mall again! A place I had yearned to go to for years, then when I lived in West Chester I was able to frequent often and became quite familiar with this beautiful mammoth. This trip was also exciting for me because my husband and I had just signed the papers to buy/build a new townhouse with a shiny new stainless steel kitchen! After spending 12 hours in a mall full of endless choices I found myself leaving with two small bags. One bag from Pottery Barn with a few Christmas ornaments. And one bag from Williams-Sonoma with a shiny new cookbook filled with healthy recipes! A brand new kitchen and a new cookbook filled with HEALTHY recipes!?!? I could hardly contain my excitement! This could be life-changing!
Fast forward a few months to when we moved into our new house with the shiny kitchen. At that point life was pretty crazy. Not only were we in the middle of a move, but I was also a few months pregnant with sweet little JP! Cooking was the last thing on my mind. And so the cookbook sat....sat on a shelf, then in a closet and most recently in a box in the garage. Sure, I'd made one or two recipes from it but for the most part, this book just got pushed aside for something else.
A few weeks ago when I'd realized I'd eaten a few too many cupcakes I was tempted to buy a new, healthy cookbook. Just then I remember this little gem and started to search for it. I found it in a plastic tote in the garage and I'm so happy I did! Looking through it now the recipes seem FAR less involved and complicated as I thought they were back in 2004. Maybe it's because I'm a much better cook than I was then, but I think alot of it is because so many ingredients are so widely available today compared to 2004 (Broccolini?? Goat Cheese??). Overall, this is one of the easiest dishes I've ever made. There is very little prep work, it comes together very quickly and it's a perfect pasta dish for the warm summer months up ahead. If you don't usually salt your pasta water make sure you do AND make sure you use the recommended 2 tablespoons. You'll thank me later!!
Pasta with Tomatoes, Arugula & Goat Cheese
3/4 pound ziti, fusilli or cavatappi
2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
2 cups loosely packed arugula
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup (1 ounce) fresh goat cheese, crumbled
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons of salt to the boiling water before adding the pasta. Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Before draining pasta, reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking water. Drain pasta, mix in arugula and place in a warm bowl.
While the pasta is cooking, add olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once oil heats up add tomatoes to the pan and saute for 1-2 minutes. Add the garlic and saute an additional 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat, season with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Place over warm pasta. Add crumbled goat cheese, tossing to combine all ingredients. Add a little of the reserved pasta water if the dish is a bit dry. Season with fresh ground pepper to taste.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Healthful Cooking
Pittsburgh area mom striving to provide clean, healthy, REAL food for her family!