The first time I saw arugula in a recipe, it was called rocket, and I had no idea what the cookbook was talking about. Upon further reading, I learned that rocket is the British name for arugula, and I was determined to find a good recipe that uses it. I had tried it in Italy with steak and Balsamic vinegar, which was delicious, but I had never tried it with pasta until now.
Since first trying this dish, arugula has become a more regular part of my diet. Which is great, since it’s so good for you! It’s peppery, and adds a nice kick to pasta, salad, soup, or whatever you add it to. With this pasta, you can interchange arugula with spinach, but the arugula definitely adds more flavor. The grape tomatoes add a sweetness to oppose the peppery greens, while the lemon adds it’s own layer of flavor.
Orecchiette with Shrimp, Arugula, and Grape Tomatoes
¾ teaspoon salt, divided
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound uncooked orecchiette pasta
5 ounces baby arugula
1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
Sprinkle ¼ teaspoon salt over shrimp. Place shrimp on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 2 minutes on each side or until done. Cool and halve crosswise. Combine shrimp, remaining ½ teaspoon salt, tomatoes, and next 5 ingredients (through garlic) in a large bowl.
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain well. Add pasta, arugula, oil, and Parmesan cheese to shrimp mixture; toss gently to slightly wilt the arugula. Serve warm or cold, topped with additional grated Parmesan cheese.
Source: Adapted from Cooking Light