SPAGHETTI WITH ARUGULA (FUSION)
The advent of salad greens hereabouts has us looking for interesting ways to turn a bumper crop of wild and flavorful baby field lettuces into more than just a salad. The other night, seeking a light and meatless dinner for the evening after a heavy lunch, I took a mound of fresh arugula and converted it into a very light and very quick pasta dish.
Literally while the pasta water was boiling, I coarsely chopped a pile of fresh arugula (about three or four cups of lightly packed leaves) and mixed them with two or three finely minced scallions, black pepper and a little salt to taste, and set aside.
Boil spaghetti for two, and while it's cooking, heat a couple of tablespoons of good olive oil in a large, nonstick skillet. Slice two or three large garlic cloves very thin, and let the garlic sautee lightly in the hot oil over low heat until it's deeply aromatic and translucent; don't let it burn or even turn dark brown.
When the pasta is just done, drain it and toss it into the pan with the garlic and oil. Toss until the spaghetti is well coated; then stir in all the chopped greens and toss just until everything's mixed. Serve in large warm bowls with plenty of grated Parmigiano Reggiano and crusty bread.
Went very nicely with a rich, buttery Rabbit Ridge Chardonnay.