Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Garlicky Smashed Tomato and Arugula Spaghetti

Earlier in the spring, my friend Erin shared some special heirloom Black Cherry and Chadwick tomato seeds.  Bought from a local farm, every single seed sprouted and the plants have been sharing their delicious cherry tomatoes with us all summer.  (Thanks Erin!)

I love cherry tomatoes, and this recipe highlights them in a rich tomato sauce that is offset by some fresh arugula before serving.  Using a recipe I saw on television for Bruschetta Puttanesca, I created this idea for a pasta that is healthful, quick and most of all:  delicious.  This recipe is easy for a weeknight but special enough for company.

Garlicky Smashed Tomato and Arugula Spaghetti

1 pound whole wheat spaghetti
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided use
8 cloves garlic, minced
6 anchovy fillets, chopped (optional, but they add a great depth of flavor and saltiness to this dish, and sort of "melt" when they are cooked)
2 pints (about 4 cups) grape or cherry tomatoes
3 tablespoons capers
1/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
2 generous handfuls of arugula (or baby spinach)
grated Parmesan cheese for topping

Bring a large stock pot full of water to a boil.  Cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet.  Heat to medium high and add the garlic and anchovies.  Cook 30 seconds.  Add the tomatoes, capers, olives, pepper and additional 1 tablespoon oil and stir well to combine.

Cover and cook 5 minutes.  Remove the lid and allow the mixture to continue simmering until some of the extra liquid has evaporated.  Smash any tomatoes with a wooden spoon that haven't "exploded" on their own.

Drain pasta.

In a large bowl, combine the pasta and the tomato mixture.  Let cool 1-2 minutes and add the arugula.  Toss well and serve.

Serves 6.

Life is sweet,

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