Spaghetti with Chili, Lemon and Arugula

4 08 2011

Can I start off by saying how A friggin’ plus this summer has been so far? Las Vegas, full-day beach excursions, kites..in the shape of ducks!, pool parties, drunkenly reconnecting with some of the best people I know, karaoke, margaritas, skee-ball, new friends, a live-in loverfriendboy. It’s pretty much all really inappropriate for a 24 year-old living at their parents house. This is the stuff of college summer breaks and of the unemployed.  Now it’s time to watch Lost and drink wine. Death is for babies.

Any ways. Ryan and I were going to make this meal together, but he ended up talking to his mother on the phone the whole time and by the time he was off, I was done. Second time this has happened. Whisper voice: I’m starting to think it’s intentional. His loss, I guess. Preparing the meal is almost as good as eatin’ it.

A bright little dish. Flecks of color and popping flavors throughout; lemon zest, bursts of chili and garlic. I used a garlic-infused olive oil that gave the whole dish a powerful presence. Highly recommended if you can find it. The sharp parmesan is a perfect match to the peppery arugula. Though if arugula isn’t your favorite, you could try basil as a substitute.

Spaghetti with Chili, Lemon and Arugula
Adapted from Vegetarian Cooking: A Commonsense Guide

13 oz. spaghetti
3 1/2 oz. arugula, finely shredded
1 tb. lemon zest
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small red chili, seeded and minced
1 tsp. chili oil (or just some olive oil mixed with red pepper flakes)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of boiling, salted water until al dente.

Meanwhile, put the arugula, lemon zest, garlic, chili, chili oil, olive oil and two-thirds of the cheese in a large bowl and mix together.

Drain the pasta well, then add to the argula mixture and toss together. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve sprinkled with the remaining Parmesan.

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