Many of the meals that I create for dinner are based on ingredients I already have in my kitchen, and this meal was no exception. We seemed to still have arugula in the fridge from last week, and I hate wasting food, so I wanted to create a dish where I could use it. Normally we eat large meals on Sunday, but my husband and I both had big lunches, so tonight’s dinner was relatively light.
My family is from the south, so growing up we had our biggest meal of the week on Sunday. I remember my mom starting dinner right after church, and every Sunday after her cooking for many hours, the entire family sitting down to a huge Sunday feast. Growing up, Sunday dinners consisted of two meats, two vegetables and a starch…normally I try to stick close to tradition, but every now and again I have to do something different and be creative.
I judge my meals on whether my husband likes them, and he loved this pasta dish; commenting on how it was light, yet still full of flavor. Victory!
Warm Pancetta and Arugula Pasta Salad
6oz bag of baby spinach
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 small onion, sliced
1/3 box of angel hair pasta
10 slices pancetta
4 tbsp olive oil
1. In a large pan, brown pancetta; set aside.
2. Boil pot of salted water, add pasta and cook until al dente. Once cooked, save a cup of pasta water and drain remaining water. Set pasta aside.
3. In same pan, add two tbsp olive oil sauté onions on medium heat until soft and clear, approximately 15 minutes. (Do not brown/burn the onions, it is best if they are cooked for longer on low heat). Add garlic and cook for final minute. Add half of spinach to pan and sauté for approximately 30 seconds, then add remaining spinach.
4. Turn heat to medium-low and add cooked pasta and arugula to onion mixture. Add 2 tbsp olive oil, 1/2c pasta water, salt and pepper to pasta. Using a pronged pasta spoon stir pasta into onion mixture.
5. Squeeze lemon on top of pasta, plate and serve.