Juggling between work, school, and [trying to have a] social life, I finally made time to put together a proper lunch for myself. A lunch that didn't consist of frozen gyoza or carrots and hummus. I find cooking very therapeutic. So this was a good break from learning about cell injury, cell death, ATP, plasma proteins, interleukins, leukocytes, neutrophils, basophils, kinin system, coagulation system, immunoglobulins... sounds fun, right? Ummm...
On a very busy day filled with an influx of advanced pathophysiology information, this lemony lunch totally hit the spot. I was inspired by Jeanine's post on her Instagram from two weeks ago. Ever since I saw the combination of pasta and wilted arugula, I've been day-dreaming of this moment. Yes, I day dream about food. On a regular basis. That's totally normal, right?
Back to reality... The garlicky and lemony combination was quite charming. The tanginess of the lemon beautifully offset the boldness of the garlic. And the heaviness of the pasta was balanced with the freshness of the peppery arugula. The toasted pine nuts added a nice crunch while the pecorino added a delightful salty and nutty factor.
About 25 sticks of spaghetti or fettuccine. I used bucatini. (Alternatively, you can use 1 cup of uncooked pasta of your choice.)
2-3 cups arugula (add more if you want)
1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large clove of garlic - minced
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/8 tsp sea salt, plus 1 tsp to salt the pasta water (adjust per your taste preference)
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper (adjust per your taste preference)
1 tbsp toasted pine nuts (Alternatively, you can use toasted walnuts or toasted slivered almonds)
Pecorino Romano or Parmiagano Reggiano for garnish
- Add 1 tsp salt to a large pot of water and bring it to a boil. Add pasta to the water and cook per the manufacturer's instructions. Before draining the pasta, reserve 2 tbsp of pasta water.
- In a pan, heat olive oil on medium-low heat, add garlic (you may want to lower the heat or take the pan off the heat so the garlic doesn't burn). Stir constantly for about 20-30 seconds.
- In the same pan as the garlic, on medium-low heat, add cooked pasta, arugula, lemon juice, reserved pasta water, salt, black pepper, and stir well. Cover and let it sit for about a minute, stirring halfway through.
- Serve warm topped with toasted pine nuts and Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano.
Total time about 20-25 minutes | Serves 1 (this recipe can be easily double)