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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Light and Tasty

I was talking with my friend Janis the other day and she suggested that I post some lighter recipes on You Little Tarte.  While I am not a calorie counter, I see the wisdom in this suggestion so here goes.

I'm going to start by saying that this is a pasta recipe.  I know some people try and stay away from "white foods" like pasta, but you could substitute whole wheat pasta if you prefer.  I used regular orecchiette because (1) I like it better than the whole wheat version, and (2) it's what I had in the house.  Enough said.

Nonetheless, the rest of this recipe is very light, despite having a little goat cheese in it,  and really nice for a summer dinner on the patio.  (That is, if the humidity would go down below 95% for long enough to sit outside for a meal.)  Because of the arugula, this dish kind of takes care of the pasta course and the salad course all in one.  Easy peasey.

Here's the thing I really like about this recipe besides how good it is.  I love how it looks in a big bowl in the center of the table.  It's the perfect dish to serve when you want everyone to feel really comfortable and at home, while still remaining chic and "we're hanging out at our rustic dining table in Tuscany" cool.  I love food that makes me feel much more worldly than my day to day life is.  Don't you?

Anyway, serve this pasta with a big loaf of crusty bread (multigrain, if you must) and a nice glass of wine.  You can feel relaxed and virtuous all at the same time.

Recipe:  Orecchiette with Arugula, Olives, and Goat Cheese


1 pound dry orecchiette
5 ounces arugula
1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes (packed in olive oil)
4 ounces crumbled fresh goat cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup coarsely chopped kalamata olives
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.  Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, 8-10 minutes.  Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water.

Place the warm pasta and the arugula in a large serving bowl.  Add the, sun-dried tomatoes, cheeses, salt, and pepper.  Add 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking water and toss to combine.  Add a little more of the pasta water if necessary so that the pasta isn't too dry.  You want it to be creamy.  Serve warm.

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