Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Lemon and Arugula Rigatoni

I am the kind of cook that appreciates the process of making foods.  Why else would I spend two days making one batch of bagels;  an entire Easter working on croissants; 90 minutes caramelizing onions for a soup- and stirring the entire time?!  I don't mind things that take a long time.  However- sometimes, there are nights when you just need to whip something up.  It needs to be quick and it needs to be delicious.  And that, my friends, is what today's recipe is all about.  It is ridiculously fast, insanely easy, and was so delicious that we ate it all.  And honestly that rarely happens here.

All you have to do is cook pasta.  Honestly that's it as far as cooking goes.  While the rigatoni is cooking, you drain and rinse a can of cannellini beans, juice and zest a lemon, and toss it all with some arugula into a bowl.  When the pasta is done, you throw that on top, and it immediately begins to wilt the arugula and warm up the beans.  Add some olive oil and grated Pecorino, and voila: dinner is done.  Literally this meal went from idea to dinner in under 15 minutes.  I cannot get over how quick that is.  The longest step is waiting for your pasta water to boil!

The really amazing thing is that this meal doesn't taste "quick."  It was absolutely amazing.  Lemony, but with a little peppery bite from the arugula.  The beans add protein, and the Pecorino adds a whole new dimension of flavor.  Everyone who tasted this was in love immediately.  This is definitely going to be my go-to quick weeknight meal... or my lunch... or my anytime-because-it-is-so-good.


lemon and arugula rigatoni
from A Couple Cooks
makes 4 servings


3/4 pound whole wheat rigatoni (or any pasta shape)
4 cups baby arugula
15-ounce can cannelloni white beans
zest and juice from 1 lemon
1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 - 3/4 cup grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
kosher salt
black pepper


1) Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Cook the pasta according to package instructions.

2) Meanwhile, drain and rinse the white beans and place them in a large bowl with the arugula.  Add zest and juice of the lemon into the bowl; add 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and black pepper.  Toss gently to combine all flavors.

3) When pasta is done, drain it.  Add it immediately to the large bowl with beans and arugula along with oil and cheese; stir to combine.  The warm pasta will wilt the arugula and warm the beans.  Serve immediately, topped with more shredded cheese, salt, pepper, olive oil, and/or lemon zest if desired.

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