Easy dinner. Fantastic tasting. Almost like you don't even know it's healthy (used whole wheat pasta, but you can use what you like--multigrain pasta is good too). Came up with this dish last night while in a hurry to make something for dinner. We loved it! Definitely use summer's best tomatoes (heirloom tomatoes if you can get them)--this dish is much better in the summer with fresh tomatoes--not the mealy ones of the winter-grocery variety. In the winter, consider sauteing 1-2 cans of diced tomatoes in with the garlic for a few minutes for this dish. I certainly will.
We had leftover lemon basil chicken from this recipe I made (and adapted) earlier this week. It was very good!
The chicken was great with the pasta. But, I bet the pasta would also be very good with some white (cannellini) beans (instead of the chicken) for a vegetarian meal. Next time, I'm going to try it that way and maybe even replace the fresh mozzarella with feta cheese for variety. By the way, arugula is wonderful in pasta dishes!
PASTA WITH FRESH MOZZARELLA, TOMATOES, ARUGULA, AND PINE NUTS
- 16 oz. pasta (farfalle (bowtie), penne, fusilli/rotini, cavatelli shapes are good options)
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 large tomatoes, diced
- 1/4-1/3 cup pine nuts (pignoli)
- ~1 tsp. sea salt
- ~1/2 tsp. cracked black pepper (or to taste)
- 8-10 ounces fresh mozzarella, chopped
- 5 oz. baby arugula (this is ~6 cups)
- ~4 cooked chicken breasts, chopped (optional)
- Parmesan cheese, (optional)
Cook pasta according to package directions. While that cooks, heat olive oil up with the garlic and cook slightly without browning. When garlic starts to brown, turn off the heat. Let cool until pasta finishes cooking. Combine the tomatoes, pine nuts, salt and pepper with the fresh mozzarella, and arugula. Add the cooled olive oil and garlic.
Drain pasta and combine toss with the tomato-arugula-cheese-nut mixture. Add cooked chicken, if using.
Serve immediately. For extra pizzazz--serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese over each serving. Doesn't this look delicious? It really was. Hope you enjoy it.