Here Comes the Sun

Posted: December 9, 2009 | Author: Johanna | Filed under: Johanna | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments »

Sun-dried tomatoes, that is.
Penne with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and ArugulaOne of my favorite things about Gourmet magazine was that it had a quick-and-easy section, which is where I found this recipe. I was going through my stack of magazines and my list of “Try This” recipes and I reached Gourmet May 2009 and stopped.

Penne with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Arugula.

It involves some of my favorite ingredients — whole-wheat pasta, sun-dried tomatoes, proscuitto (I didn’t have pancetta) and heavy cream. Oh, also arugula and parmesan which I love a lot. SO basically…. I would bathe in this dish if that was socially acceptable. Plus, between 2 people, Jesse and I managed to eat the whole bowl of pasta, except for a tiny bit which I *may* have eaten cold at about 3 in the morning when I got up to go to the bathroom.
Don’t judge.

Regardless, this recipe is great, despite what you might read in the comments. Something I have a problem with is people leaving comments on a recipe, tearing the recipe apart for being awful and then noting all the ways that they changed it, or better still, rating the dish highly and then mentioning that they changed oh, the leafy green involved, and the protein, and they used half-and-half and added this-and-that and slowly it dawns on you that this person didn’t really cook this recipe at all!! In that spirit, I did my best to be mindful of the recipe, and the only real change I made was that I misread “pancetta” and thought the recipe called for “proscuitto” and honestly, they’re both so delicious, can you really blame me?

And speaking of the pork products, disclaimer time: This recipe is not exactly vegetarian, although it could very easily become vegetarian (or kosher) by omitting the proscuitto/pancetta and reading your labels. Vegans, as always, are still S.O.L.
Penne with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Arugula
Gourmet May 2009 via Epicurious.com

1. Boil pasta. Hopefully, this process is self-evident.
2. Chop or tear some proscuitto, which has been sliced paper-thin, making it extremely difficult to get off the deli paper…. into small bits. Saute it in olive oil until it’s nice and crispy and thin, which should take 4 or 5 minutes. Watch it closely, and drain on paper towels.
As an aside, you could totally leave this out, as mentioned above, and ignore Step 2 entirely, making Step 3 the new 2nd Step.
3.  Cook 1 medium, chopped, onion and 3 finely chopped cloves of garlic in 2 tablespoons of fat in a skillet. Season with salt and pepper. (If you used the proscuitto, then use the fat that was rendered. If not, use olive oil) Cook gently until the onions are softened and smelling heavenly.
4.  Add in 2/3 of a cup of heavy cream, and 1/2 a cup of drained, rinsed, oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes that you’ve chopped up. Stir in the proscuitto if you used it, and let everything simmer for a few minutes to thicken up while you drain the pasta. Save a ladle of the pasta water, in case you need to thin the sauce down.
5. Wilt a 5-ounce package of arugula into the cream sauce, off the heat, and then add the pasta and toss. Thin the sauce with the reserved pasta water and grate on some parmesan cheese.

This dish is not super heavy, despite the staggering amount of cream, and you could definitely use half-and-half and let it simmer a little longer. However, it is thick and comforting, for those days when honestly, pasta with cream sauce is on the agenda.

We all have them.

Don’t judge.



Johanna: The Improviser

Never quite follows the recipe. Doesn't really measure. Tastes with her fingers. Somehow, it always works.

Alyssa: The Triple Threat

Can do it all. And modest to boot.

Bakezilla: We Use Mixers Too

She likes to bake. Actually, baking is the only thing she does. It's a passion.

Rita: The Kosher Chick

Restrictions have nothing on her.