We made this with spaghetti noodles and it was easy! Delicious family dinner material. I picked a bunch of arugula, a new choice for us, from our garden and wasn't sure what to do with it. This recipe was an easy one, used several cups of it up and was quite simple to make. We added a salad and some good bread from the local bakery and were quite full when all was done! I used a can of tomatoes that was almost twice as large as the recipe called for so the sauce was maybe more plentiful than intended but we enjoyed mopping some up from the plates with our bread!
Cavatelli with Bacon and Arugula
A quick tomato sauce dresses chewy cavatelli, crisp bacon, and peppery arugula. Be sure to add the arugula at the last minute; if it actually cooks, it may turn bitter.
- 1/4 pound sliced bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 3/4 cups canned crushed tomatoes (one 15-ounce can)
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
- 1 pound frozen cavatelli
- 1 1/4 cups arugula, stems removed, leaves torn in half (one 2-ounce bunch)
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
- 1. In a large stainless-steel frying pan, cook the bacon over moderate heat until almost crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat from the pan.
- 2. Reduce the heat to moderately low. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juice, the salt, and the pepper and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
- 3. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the cavatelli until just done, about 10 minutes. Drain and toss with the sauce, bacon, arugula, and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan. Stir until the arugula just wilts. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan over the top.
- Variations: Use 1 1/4 cups watercress or spinach, large stems removed, instead of the arugula.
- Cavatelli Options: Look for cavatelli in the frozen-foods section of your grocery store. If you prefer, substitute frozen egg noodles or gnocchi in equal amounts for the cavatelli; they have a similar doughy chew. This dish could also be made successfully with spaghetti or, even better, spaghettini.
- Wine Recommendation: Barbera is unique among Italian reds in that it is fruity and very high in acid, yet has almost no tannins. These qualities make the wine remarkably adaptable to food, particularly tomatoes. Try an unoaked Barbera d'Alba for a delicious match here.
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