Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes and Wilted Greens

Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes and Wilted Greens

Dear Readers, sometimes we all need that easy one pot dish when we are pressed for time or have ran out of it all together. So imagine my delight to find this recipe with a cute and easy way to wilt your greens. I also love that isn’t a heavy dish for those hot summer evenings. We have it straight vegetarian but you could easily crumble some feta or queso fresco on it and add some sliced grilled chicken breast. Use it as a side dish just as easily. It also has great potluck potential! This is from my favorite author/chef Andrea Chesman in her book Serving Up the Harvest. If you don’t have arugula, watercress or spinach will work.

Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes and Wilted Greens

6 cups chopped ripe tomatoes (I used an assortment of cherry tomatoes.)
1 cup cured pitted black olives, such as Kalamata
1/3 cup basil leaves, cut into thin strips
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2-4 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 ounces arugula, coarse stems removed and leaves roughly chopped (about 8 cups)
1 pound rotini, shells, penne, or other pasta
Freshly grated Parmesan, for serving

 

1. In a large serving bowl, combine the tomatoes, olives, basil, oil, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss gently to mix. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave for 4 hours or up to all day if more convenient. Do not refrigerate. (I’ve also made it with tomatoes right off the vine that have never been refrigerated and threw it together while I was cooking the pasta. Flavors not as intense but still pretty darn good.)
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Place a large colander in the sink and put the chopped arugula in it.
3. Cook the pasta in the boiling water following the package directions. Drain the pasta over the arugula in the colander so the hot water wilts the arugula.
4. Add the hot pasta and arugula to the tomato mixture and toss gently. Serve at once, passing the Parmesan at the table.

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