I’ve made this dish since I was a teenager and went to an obscure (tiny) Italian restaurant in Toronto and had it for the first time. I remember my sister and I walking for what seemed to be hours shopping and going into this oasis of a little restaurant.
We had Pellegrino (very swish in those days) and this wonderful pasta dish. My first taste of arugula and the start of a lifelong love affair with this spicy green.
You can be done “cooking” in less time than a mediocre Italian take away could arrive. Save the money and get a gorgeous pair of shoes instead.
Having said that-Kristen (over at Frugal Girl) has a fantastic plan that I will be adopting. She and her husband have take-out once a week as part of a rather brilliant date night. They get to have a full conversation, actually see one another, complete a whole thought…imagine that.
This dish is more about the ingreients and less about the being fancy. Get a really special bottle of olive oil (so green that it looks like a health drink) and a really rich balsamic.
They are the real stars of this dish.
In a bowl toss; halved cherry tomatoes (1 cup-if you have really lovely tomatoes in the garden then use them-nothing will ever beat that taste), 3 garlic cloves (minced or crushed very fine), 1 T. peppercorns (roughly crushed with the bottom of a pot), one bunch of arugula (very roughly and largely chopped), one bunch of fresh basil (see arugula instructions).
Add 4 cups of cooked tube pasta (buccatoni, penne…whatever floats your boat) and start to drizzle in that very rich balsamic and olive oil. The oil should be so tasty that you just about want to drink it. Taste as you go. I usually end up with 1/3 of a cup of each.
Shave in big chunks of parmesan.
Have it in your own little oasis and make sure you watch “Under the Tuscan Sun” to set the mood.