Pasta with Arugula, Goat Cheese, and Walnuts

I’m always looking for quick, easy meals for dinner.  This is a great dinner that comes together in 20 minutes or less.  The recipe is very customizable.  Swap the arugula for baby spinach or the goat cheese for cubed fresh mozzarella.  Don’t like nuts?  Try adding beans instead.  Want to amp up the veggies?  Add a diced red bell pepper or increase the amount of greens.  One of the best parts of this recipe: the leftovers are perfect for a cold lunch salad the next day.

Pasta with Arugula, Goat Cheese, and Walnuts

3/4 pound pasta (I used rigati)

4 – 6 ounces baby arugula (also called roquette)

1 lemon

4 ounces goat cheese

walnuts (about 1/2 cup)

olive oil

salt (not pictured)

Arugula Pasta_Ingredients

Cook the pasta according to the package directions for al dente.  Make sure the water is well salted – this is your chance to flavor the pasta.

Arugula Pasta_Pasta

Spread the walnuts on a foil-lined sheet pan (easy cleanup!) and toast in a 350 degree oven for 5 – 7 minutes.  Alternately, you could toast the walnuts in a skillet over medium heat.  This brings out the flavor of the walnuts.

Arugula Pasta_Walnuts

Put the arugula in a large bowl.  Zest the lemon over the arugula.  Then cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice over the arugula.  Toss the arugula in the lemon zest and juice so it is well coated.

Arugula Pasta_Lemon

When the pasta is finished, add the drained pasta to the arugula.  Top with olive oil and the toasted walnuts.  Toss well.  The arugula should begin to wilt.

Arugula Pasta_Mixing 1Arugula Pasta_OilArugula Pasta_Mixing 2

Crumble the goat cheese over the arugula, pasta, and walnut mixture.  Toss well.

Arugula Pasta_Goat Cheese

Portion into four bowls.  Serve with a glass of chardonnay and enjoy!

Arugula Pasta_Finished

Adapted from Lemony Pasta with Arugula from Everyday Food magazine.

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