This recipe is a riff on Food52 co-founder Merrill Stubbs's Pasta with Tomatoes, Garlic, Basil, and Brie. That dish screams summer. This one, dead of winter when you want it to be summer. Chewy, plump sun-dried tomatoes, peppery arugula, lots of melty Brie. Like Merrill, I really enjoy cavatappi here. But use whatever short, curly noodle you like best. —Emma Laperruque
Combine the Brie, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil in a large, heatproof bowl—this will become your serving bowl. Season with a big pinch each of salt and red pepper flakes (we’ll adjust to taste more later, after the pasta arrives).
Set a large pot of water over high heat. Add a few spoonfuls of kosher salt and bring to a boil. Cook the cavatappi for 8 to 9 minutes, until al dente. Before you drain the pasta, fill a mug or glass with the salty pasta water. Now you can drain.
Add the just-drained pasta to the bowl with the Brie and sun-dried tomato mixture. Give a quick toss with a big spoon (don’t use a fork, it will spear the noodles). Add the arugula and ¼ cup pasta water and keep tossing. Continue to add pasta water until the consistency and creaminess looks right to you—I used about ½ cup—and keep in mind that it will stiffen as it cools. Season with salt and red pepper flakes to taste. Serve immediately.
Emma is the food editor at Food52. Before this, she worked a lot of odd jobs, all at the same time. Think: stir-frying noodles "on the fly," baking dozens of pastries at 3 a.m., reviewing restaurants, and writing articles about everything from how to use leftover mashed potatoes to the history of pies in North Carolina. Now she lives in New Jersey with her husband and their cat, Butter. Stay tuned every Tuesday for Emma's cooking column, Big Little Recipes, all about big flavor and little ingredient lists. And see what she's up to on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.