Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Lemon Arugula Pasta with Truffle Butter

I whipped up this pasta last week when my refrigerator was pretty bare, aside from a box of arugula, a lemon, and an almost forgotten tiny tub of truffle butter (thanks to a gift box from a friend). I didn't have the energy for the store, so I improvised. And you know what? It turned out really well!  The wilted arugula gives it a little bite. The richness of the olive oil, vermouth, and truffle butter sauce is balanced by the bright lemon. A generous sprinkle of nutty Parmesan is the finishing touch.

This pasta can stand on its own as a quick, filling dinner, but you could serve it alongside a green salad, roasted vegetables, or grilled meat.  Maybe best of all, this is one of those recipes where you don't have to take measurements too seriously, and you can make it work with what you have. Try swapping spinach or sauteed swiss chard for arugula, trading butter and crushed red pepper for the truffle butter, white wine for vermouth, tortellini in place of pasta, Comte instead of Parmesan cheese.   It's a pantry meal with plenty of possibilities!
Serves 2

6-8 oz pasta (I used Campanelle)
1/2 lemon, juiced
Splash (~2 Tb) of dry vermouth (white wine works too)
~2 Tb olive oil
~2 Tb truffle butter (or plain ol' butter)
Handful or two of arugula
Parmesan cheese, grated for garnish
Salt and pepper to taste

Bring a sauce pan of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions.

Once cooked, drain the pasta while reserving a little pasta water.

Place the sauce pan back on the stove over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and the truffle butter to the pan, and once hot, pour in the vermouth. Let it come to a boil and reduce by about half.

Lower the heat to medium and whisk in the lemon juice. Stir in a little pasta water, if desired, to thicken the sauce a bit, and add a little freshly ground black pepper.

Add the pasta to the pan, and toss to coat. Then stir in a couple handfuls of arugula until it wilts slightly.

Serve topped with a generous sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

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