Pasta salad doesn’t have to be boring. This warm pasta salad changes it up by putting actual salad into the dish. Plus, it’s a one-pot meal, it’s healthy, and it’s made in the same amount of time it takes to boil some spaghetti. Win-win-win!
1 pint small tomatoes
8 oz cheese
6 cups arugula
1 lb spaghetti
3 ounces lemon juice (generally one or two lemons)
1/3 cup olive oil
salt, ground black pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste
1. Boil pasta.
2. Halve or quarter the tomatoes. Cut the cheese into 1/3″ cubes.
3. Clean the arugula, chop into 2″-3″ long pieces, and shake off excess water.
4. Mix the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to make a dressing.
5. Drain the pasta, then quickly mix the arugula into the pot. Let it sit covered but off the stove for 3 minutes.
6. Pour the dressing into the pot and toss to combine.
7. Add the tomatoes and the cheese and serve immediately.
Small tomatoes means grape tomatoes, Campari tomatoes, or anything about that size. I don’t recommend Roma tomatoes because they’re watery and don’t have the intense flavor of the smaller varieties.
Cheese means any cheese! I’ve use monterey jack, pepper jack, and even cheddar . I’ve also used feta cheese and added sun-dried tomatoes to give it a Mediterranean type flavor. If you use fresh mozzarella, let the pasta salad cool down to room temperature before adding or it will melt into a very strange texture.
This recipe is pretty light on herbs and spices. The natural sweetness of the tomatoes along with the arugula provide plenty of flavor.
If your arugula has a very sharp taste, you may consider using less of it so that it doesn’t overpower the rest of the ingredients.
I adapted this recipe from a recipe I saw on America’s Test Kitchen on TV.