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Mains, Quick and Easy, Vegetarian

Whole-wheat spaghetti with arugula, walnuts and sheep's milk cheese

I stood a little way back from the cooking greens section in my grocery store last Saturday and watched what people chose and what they ignored. Spinach was the No. 1 choice, even though it was especially sandy from the ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour | Serves 2
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 8 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti
  • Salt
  • 1 large bunch mature arugula leaves or 4 cups baby arugula leaves
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra-virgin to finish
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • Dash dried red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup coarsely grated and chopped sheep's milk cheese, such as pecorino Romano

Step 1Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast until lightly browned, 7 to 9 minutes. Chop the nuts and set them aside.

Step 2Cook the spaghetti in plenty of rapidly boiling salted water until al dente, about 7 to 8 minutes.

Step 3Warm the oil in a large skillet, with the garlic and the red pepper flakes. Cook over medium heat until the garlic turns light gold, then add the arugula with the water clinging to its leaves. Season with a few pinches of salt and cook until wilted and tender, about 3 minutes.

Step 4When the pasta is done, scoop it out and add it directly to the pan with a little of the cooking liquid. Add the walnuts and cheese and toss well. Serve with extra-virgin olive oil drizzled over the top.

Note: While the spaghetti is cooking, pluck the leafy parts off the arugula from the stems. (When arugula is very large, the stems become coarse and stringy.) Chop coarsely and wash. Do not dry.
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