Ziti with Arugula, Smoked Mozzarella, and Grape Tomatoes

Written by CMP on July 31, 2008
Ziti with Arugula, Smoked Mozzarella, and Grape Tomatoes

Some days I go to the grocery store without really knowing what I'm going to make for dinner and hope to get some inspiration. This dish grew from one of those aimless supermarket excursions. I was in the mood for the peppery bite that good, fresh, arugula delivers and thought the sweetness from the grape tomatoes would balance it nicely. I threw in the smoked mozzarella because, well, why not?

Ingredients

  • 1 Lb Ziti Pasta (Penne would work here, too)
  • 3 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic, chopped
  • 1 Pint Grape Tomatoes, halved cross-wise
  • 1 Tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Cup White Wine
  • 1/4 Cup Grated Parmesean Cheese
  • 1 Bunch Fresh Arugula, washed, dried, and cut into rough chop
  • 1 1/2 Cups Smoked Mozzarella, cut into large dice

Fill your pasta pot with water and add 2 Tbs kosher salt. Place the pot over high heat, covered.

While you're waiting for the water to boil, prepare the sauce. In a large sauce pan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat and then add the garlic. Saute the garlic until it just begins to brown, about 1 minute, then add the tomatoes, salt, and pepper, Mix well and cook for one minute longer. Add the white wine to pan, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer.

When your pasta water is boiling add the ziti and cook till just before al dente. As I like to do with pan sauces like this one, you'll be finishing the pasta in the sauce. Add grated cheese to the sauce pan, drain pasta well and add it, too, to the sauce pan. Mix well and raise heat to medium. The pasta will finish cooking by absorbing some of the sauce and will be done in about 5 minutes.

Just before serving, mix in arugula and smoked mozzarella. The heat from the pasta will wilt the arugula and melt the cheese. Serve with a little of that white wine you have left.

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Comments

Aug 18, 2008 2:27:32 PM
Christine said:

Last week we went to the number one rated (well tied for #1) restaurant on Nantucket. It serves one set meal per night and on our night the appetizer was papparedelle, smoked mozzerella, arugula and local farm tomatoes. It was fantastic. As I read the description I thought it sounded familiar.

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