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Author Notes: Um, the title truly says it all. Well, almost. It was hot the other day and I had zero proteins on-hand in the fridge. That means it's pasta night. What to do...what to do.
I stared into the refrigerator, closed the door, and walked away. I opened the door again, because maybe...just maybe...new food got in there somehow. No such luck. I grabbed the arugula and proscuitto di parma and parmiggiano reggiano to make a salad to serve after the pasta. But what to do with the pasta? I didn't feel like sauteing anything or creating a sauce (can you tell I was exhausted and just wanted a tasty meal with minimal effort?). I cooked penne (it was the only full box of pasta I had) and drained it. Then it hit me: while the pasta was piping hot, I folded the baby arugula and julienned proscuitto into it along with some olive oil, salt, and cracked pepper. The residual heat from the pasta pot and pasta wilted the arugula enough and took the chill off of the proscuitto without cooking it. I grated some cheese over the top. All I had to wash was a pasta pot. One and done.
This can easily be revved up with some sauteed garlic and/or some red pepper flakes without causing too much kitchen damage. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the absence of garlic for a change. You can also substitute spinach for the arugula for a less peppery flavor. —kitchenista
Serves 6, but 4 if you're a hungry 4
- 1 pound pasta of your choice (I don't suggest capellini, linguine, spaghetti, etc.)
- 5 ounces bag of baby arugula
- 6 ounces proscuitto di parma
- olive oil to coat
- salt & freshly cracked pepper to your liking
- Cook pasta al dente or however you enjoy pasta in water that has come to a rolling boil (don't forget to salt the water at this point, not beforehand). While it's cooking, julienne the proscuitto. I don't suggest using diced proscuitto, as I find it's too chewy for this since it's not getting cooked down and would add a weird texture.
- Drain pasta quickly and throw back into the pot. Toss with olive oil. Add the arugula and mix well. You'll see that the arugula will begin to cook and turn a brighter green and wilt a little. Toss with the proscuitto. Taste for saltiness now, then add salt as needed along with freshly cracked pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl at this point and serve, grating the cheese over each individual plate.