It’s rare that I make pasta any other way than drenched with a beautiful red sauce. Sometimes, red sauce seems more fitting for the fall and winter seasons. Recently I look towards more simpler and lighter pasta dishes, without having to give up any flavor. And, with this pasta, you get quite a looker too.
Fine strands of pasta covered in parmesan cheese and flakes of panko bread crumbs offer richness, while the chile and lemon infused oil add depth and vibrancy. The addition of fresh arugula adds a peppery bite without adding any weight to the dish. Beautiful, delicious and perfect for a main course or to be served alongside a shrimp scampi, like I did when we had company over.
Angel Hair Pasta with Chile Lemon Oil and Arugula
slightly adapted from Shutterbean via Tyler Florence
Serves approximately 6 people
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons
- 2 cups panko bread crumbs
- salt and fresh cracked pepper
- 5 cloves garlic, slivered
- 1 tsp red chili flakes (I used 3 tsp because I like more heat. Adjust for your taste.)
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 1 pound angel hair pasta
- 6 cups arugula
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- In a skillet over medium heat, add two tablespoons of the olive oil. Then, add the breadcrumbs and stir to toast until golden brown. Add salt and pepper to mix in. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Wipe the pan clean and put it back on the stove over medium heat. Add the 1/2 cup olive oil, garlic and chile flakes. Cook for about 3 minutes to make sure the olive oil is infused with the garlic and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the lemon zest and cook for another 2-3 minutes until the oil becomes fragrant. Remove from heat.
- In a large pot, cook pasta to al dente (it shouldn’t take more than 3-4 minutes). Drain and place in a large bowl.
- To the pasta, add the chili infused oil, lemon juice, arugula, toasted bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese.
- Gently, using tongs, stir everything together.
Did I mention that I love sandwiches? And I have been having them! They have been delicious – especially the addition of hummus.
But, as with the seasons, it was time for a change.
There’s a new sandwich spread in town and it’s not fancy. It’s not shmancy. It’s just really good. Like really. good.
Note: I hate raw unadulterated cilantro. It’s got too much of a bite that I can’t take.
So, when I started making this, I thought this might be a no-go. Not so.
The mix of the spicy cilantro with the mellow walnut and the nutty parmesan really make this spread/sauce work beautifully together. Like having the perfect number of people on the see-saw to make it go up and down.
You didn’t just have one person on each side did you? If so, well…we rolled a little differently at my school. It could have been that the swing-set was always ‘under repair’ from some kid that broke it or tossed up the swing seats and got it rolled on the bars – were you that kid? If so, I’m mad at you.
Back to the pesto!
It’s cheap. Basil is way more expensive than cilantro. And, pine nuts – don’t even get me started on that price!
Helpful hint: Instead of having to mince garlic for the spread, put it first into the food processor before adding everything else.
So you can imagine what my lunch looked like today!
A fabulous sandwich with sliced turkey and gouda.
It pairs well with dijon mustard.
For all that is good and great – go home, make this dip. It will change your life.
Inspired by KERF
- 1 bunch cilantro, rinsed
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- Mince garlic cloves in food processor.
- Add cilantro, walnuts and parmesan cheese; puree until it forms a paste.
- Add salt and pepper.
- While processing, add olive oil through the spout until everything is mixed together well.