Spaghetti with Arugula and Pecorino: Friday Night Home Date

Red Chili Pepper Spaghetti with Arugula and Pecorino Romano

Tonight we’re dining on pure comfort food.

I think I would eat pasta of some kind every single day if I didn’t have any regard for culinary diversity. In fact, I’m pretty sure that when I was young, single, and living in my first apartment, pasta was my daily sustenance. All I needed was a cheap aluminum stockpot from the hardware store, some olive oil, and fresh gratings from the hunk of hard cheese - Parmigiano-Reggiano, Pecorino Romano, or Asiago - that I always had in the fridge.

I’m sure it comes from growing up in an Italian-American family, and being spoon-fed pastina with milk and butter when I was a baby.

Now that I’m grown up and far away from the place I came from, pasta is the only food I crave when I’m sick, or traveling, or just plain tired.

In other words, perfect for a late night Friday dinner. The kids will be in bed, so we’ll sit by the fire with a bottle of wine and big bowls of this spaghetti.

Chili Pepper Spaghetti with Arugula and Pecorino Romano

Serves two tired, hungry people, with a little leftover for snacking

12 ounces imported Italian spaghetti
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 fresh red chili pepper, seeds intact if you like it hot, sliced into thin rings
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
2 plump garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 cups prewashed baby arugula
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese, to taste

Bring a big pot of generously salted water to a boil. Put the spaghetti in the water and cook until just tender, but firm in the center - al dente.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over moderately low heat. Add the chili and onion and cook until slightly golden brown. Stir in the garlic and cook a few minutes, until fragrant, but be sure not to brown it. Add the arugula and toss gently. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Toss the drained spaghetti with the olive oil mixture; the arugula will wilt. Serve in large shallow bowls topped with some cheese.

Copyright (c) 2007 FamilyStyle


Lydia said...

Chile peppers and arugula are a wonderful combination -- I don't think of it as comfort food, but it's definitely food you can crave!

Nupur said...

OMG, Karen, that looks sooo good! This one is a must-try.

Melinda said...

Karen, I have travelled to your blog via breadbasketcase's. Your writing and pictures are sheer pleasure.
I love your expressed frustration with the children. It is a good thing we are normally blessed with a heaped measure of love for our own children or we would surely wring their necks!...did you ever think motherhood would be this tiring before you had them?
I am going to try your sweet potato soup. I am also a fan of the sweet potato. The ones we get in England tend to be a bit gnarly though.
I will tune into your blog in future. The food all looks so good.

Karen said...

Melinda - Thanks for visiting. I never thought about how sweet potatoes might be different in England, but I guess that makes sense. There are so many different varieties, and the ones grown here are probably different. Can you get good butternut squash? That might work just as well.

Lydia and Nupur, I haven't eaten much today (yet) and I feel the craving for spaghetti coming on...