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Orecchiette with Shallots, Cherry Tomatoes and Arugula

5 menu planning ideas for busy families

A little sweet, a little peppery and ALL sorts of goodness.  That's what you get when you combine orecchiette pasta with sweet tomatoes, peppery arugula and shallots.  Orecchiette is a really fun shape of pasta and it's name means "small ear" in Italian.  If you want to sound like you travel to Italy all the time, be sure to pronounce the c's like k's!

Very lightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Orecchiette with Shallots, Cherry Tomatoes and Arugula

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Serves: 4 Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 small shallots, finely chopped
  • One can cannellini beans (or kidney beans), rinsed (optional)
  • 2 pints mixed red and yellow cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 box orecchiette, cooked (follow the instructions on the box, but subtract 3 minutes from total cooking time for al dente pasta)
  • 4 cups fresh arugula, de-stemmed, roughly chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • Freshly grated parmesan reggiano

Instructions

1

Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat, adding garlic and shallots. Sauté the garlic and shallots until they become soft and start to glisten. You don't want to brown them, so if they start cooking too fast, be sure to turn the heat down. They should be nice and softened after about 2-3 minutes. Then add cherry tomatoes and, if you're using them, beans. Cook for just a few minutes, until the tomatoes have softened, but not lost completely broken down and the beans are heated through.

2

Add pasta and toss gently to incorporate into the tomatoes, beans, garlic and shallots.

3

Have the heat on low, because you're just reheating the pasta here. You don't want it to over cook. This should only take a couple of minutes.

4

Add the arugula, stirring it until it has just wilted.

5

Serve immediately with freshly grated Parmesan.

6

Need some extra protein? Here are a couple of other versions that would be delicious!

7

FOR PORK VERSION: Cook 1 pound of ground pork BEFORE sautéing the garlic and shallots. Once the pork is completely cooked, remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Continue cooking the recipe as written. When you add the cooked pasta, add the pork.

8

FOR SALMON VERSION: Preheat over to 250 degrees. I'm ALL about the slow roasted salmon these days. Slow roasting makes the salmon melt in your mouth good. On a sheet pan, place 1 pound of salmon. Drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for 15-20 minutes, depending on the thickness. It's done when you can easily slide a butter knife into the fish. Remove from the oven, using a fork and knife, break the salmon into large chunks. When you add the pasta, add the salmon.

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