Whole Wheat Pasta with Raw Arugula-Tomato Sauce – I had a MAJOR pasta craving yesterday! (And who doesn’t?!) All I could think of all day was pasta pasta pasta. So when my husband called me mid-afternoon declaring he found an amazing Chickpea-Quinoa recipe he wanted to cook for dinner, my first reaction was “That’s so sweet, he wants to cook dinner, AND he found a healthy recipe”, and then my second, immediately-following reaction was “No, no, no, no, no! There is no way I am eating anything other than pasta tonight.” I earnestly didn’t want to diffuse his enthusiasm, but really, I had to!
So, the deal with pasta. Poor pasta has gotten itself into so much trouble, what with the refined carbs and all. But not all pasta is created equal, and not all pasta needs to be in your pantry. The first time I ever tasted whole wheat pasta, I was like “YUCK! This tastes like boiled cardboard!” But over time, I grew to really enjoy it, and when cooked properly, it is ever so tasty and so much better for you than white pasta. So I urge you, make the switch now, and use this recipe to convert yourself!
Usually, we all smother our pasta with cooked sauces, but I decided to go with a raw one since it’s summertime and vegtables are fresh, local, and tasty on their own. The sauce warms up ever so slightly when combined with the just-cooked pasta, so things like the shallots don’t taste so harsh. This can also be enjoyed cold as a pasta salad.
Makes 4 servings
- 3/4 lb Whole Wheat Rotini
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 medium shallots, minced
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/8 cup olive oil
- 4-5 springs thyme, leaves removed
- Salt/pepper to taste
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
- 1/2 lb arugula leaves
- 1/3 lb ricotta salata cheese, chopped into small cubes (Can be found in most supermarkets. Feta can also be used)
Cook rotini according to package. When draining, reserve about 1/4 cup pasta water.
While pasta is cooking, prepare sauce by combining tomatoes, shallots, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, thyme leaves, and salt/pepper. Let sit to release juices.
When pasta is cooked, toss with prepared sauce and pasta water. Add basil and arugula leaves, and place back on heat for a few minutes for arugula to wilt and sauce to thicken. Remove from heat, and toss in cheese. Adjust seasonings and serve.