Where has this tasty little green been all my life? 

Arugula, roquette, rocket or garden  rocket . . . whatever you call it, it’s delicious and I can’t believe that I’d never tasted it before this year.  After eating it in California last winter, I was completely smitten.   In spite of its diminutive size, the flavor is big – spicy & pungent.  I bought seeds and decided to give it a try in my garden.  It came up quickly and it’s still going strong.   I love it cooked or raw and end up munching a great deal of it straight off the plant while I’m tending the garden.  

When I saw that Lisetta at Mangiare Bene, posted a recipe for Spaghetti alla Rughetta e Pomodoro I was positively giddy – her food is real-deal Italian and I couldn’t wait to give it a try.  The simple ingredients were so pretty, I had to snap a shot to share. 

 According to Lisetta, you toss the plate of rughetta (roquette) “into a bowl with some chopped tomato, steaming hot spaghetti, garlic-infused olive oil and a few crumbles of goat cheese.”  Now how’s that for a simple recipe?  Unfortunately, I did not have any goat cheese, but was quite rich with aged Pecorino Romano which added a nice tangy touch.  I started with chopped garlic in EVO oil over medium heat in a large skillet.  When I smelled the garlic, I added the veggies and cooked it just enough to wilt the greens and warm the tomatoes.  Then I added the steaming hot spaghetti and grated a good amount of cheese and grated fresh black pepper over all.   This was every bit as tasty as it looks.

Another perfect use for arugula is simply chopped or torn into a tossed salad.  Many nights the salad is our main course with a hearty bread, dipping oil and a little wine.  I try to add some sort of protein on those occassions –  in this instance it was meat candy (a.k.a. crumbled bacon).

This is my favorite place to unwind with a glass of wine after a stressful day at  the office. 

I’m ending this post with a gratuitous shot of raspberries and Swiss chard – now it’s time to water the gardens.