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Spinach Fettuccine with Arugula and Tomatoes

Pasta and greens are arguably the easiest way to dinner on the table in short notice. This spinach fettuccine with arugula and tomatoes is a textbook example; boil pasta, and while it cooks, prepare the rest of the dish. Garnish and serve.

Robbie and I like to get outdoors after work, and with these long summer days we have plenty of time for a 45-minute hike up the hill near our house. When we get back we jam out dinner together. He usually makes the salad, I make the main dish.

Spinach Fettuccine with Arugula and Tomatoes

This is how it goes: Start by sautéing aromatics, like onion and garlic. Add vitamin-rich greens, like the arugula in this recipe, and cook just until the greens wilt. Stir in cooked pasta along with something bright, maybe tomatoes or olives or chopped fresh herbs. Do you love cheese as much as we do? Then throw in what you have on hand, even blue cheese shines in pasta and greens. Garnish with your choice of toasted nuts or seeds. Dinner in 20 minutes max.

ingredients for Spinach Fettuccine with Arugula and Tomatoes

We pretty much always have a stash of greens in the fridge. Summertime, our high-altitude CSA rocks with spinach, mess o’ greens, arugula, kale and more–at least once a week, dinner is a variation of some leafy green wilted into hot pasta.

Just last night we practically inhaled brown rice penne pasta with slivered onion, spinach and fava bean shoots, feta cheese and a mix of chopped Greek olives. Wolfed down, as in the recipe should feed 4 and there was only a cup left over—my lunch today.

You are a kitchen wizard. Keep different pastas on hand for seemingly endless variations on the theme. Be extraordinary–if you have the time–make your own pasta, like these whole wheat herb ribbons. (You can roll pasta ahead of time and store it in the freezer.)

Spinach Fettuccine with Arugula and Tomatoes

Spinach Fettuccine with Arugula and Tomatoes recipe details:

  • Take the extra time to strip the leaves and discard the stems on leafy farmer’s market and CSA arugula. Those stems don’t wilt as quickly as the spicy leaves, and I find the stemmy texture unpleasant. (Baby arugula is more convenient because it doesn’t have the thicker stems.)
  • Especially at high altitudes, where it takes a long time for water to boil, start the pasta water first.
  • I pull out my stainless steel pot with the pasta insert every time I boil pasta. Without draining the water, you can remove the noodles when they’re done. When you are ready for hot pasta, simply dip the pasta back in the hot water for 30 seconds, then drain again.
  • I used DeBoles organic spinach pasta.
  • Garlic flavor can come from the green scapes or garlic cloves. Our CSA farm share included garlic scapes this week so I included them. >>>>>> Here’s a Garlic Scape and Greens pesto recipe that takes advantage of CSA veggies too.

This recipe is very slightly adapted from one in Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.

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Spinach Fettuccine with Arugula and Tomatoes
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Spinach Fettuccine with Arugula and Tomatoes
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 
This is one of my favorite nutritious and delicious dinners. You will love how pasta and greens come together in a jiffy—I mean the table in 20 minutes.
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces spinach fettuccine (see note)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped garlic scapes or 3 cloves garlic , minced (see note)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 pint cherry or grape tomatoes , cut in half
  • 6 cups arugula , thicker stems removed, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup toasted chopped walnuts
  • Grated Pecorino Romano cheese , optional
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. (see note) Stir in the pasta. Return to a simmer and cook according to package directions, or until pasta is just tender to the tooth. Drain and toss with 1 tablespoons of the olive oil. Set aside.
  2. While the pasta cooks, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium flame. Add the garlic scapes and pepper flakes and cook for several minutes to infuse the oil with garlic and pepper flavor. Stir in the tomatoes and arugula leaves, sprinkling with a bit of salt. After 30 seconds, remove from the heat. Stir in the reserved pasta. Serve garnished with the walnuts, and if desired, grated cheese.
Recipe Notes
  • I used DeBoles organic spinach pasta.
  • Garlic flavor can come from the green scapes or garlic cloves. If it's spring and you've got scapes--sauté them up!
  • Especially at high altitudes, where it takes a long time for water to boil, start the pasta water first.

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