There’s TONS of flavor in this Spaghetti with Arugula and Tomatoes- it seems simple at first, but it’s packed with arugula, lime, cayenne pepper, feta or cotija cheese, parmesan, basil, and tomatoes. It all blends together to give it a unique flavor that totally works and gives it an awesome kick.
Trust me. It totally works.
Zach just told me to write that this is one of the best things ever to eat. So here it is. This is one of the best things ever to eat!
It works especially well with the habanero flavored red wine Zach and I are enjoying right now that we brought back from Texas. Seriously and surprisingly delicious! Unfortunately, Texas is the only state that sells it. Boo.
Cook pasta according to directions. I used spaghetti for this, but you can use fusilli, linguini, rotini, farfalle… whatever your heart desires.
The world is your oyster.
Meanwhile, slice a sweet onion very thinly and saute in olive oil over medium heat in a very large skillet or pot. Add the zest of two limes. When onion has softened, add 3 cloves of minced garlic.
You always want to add garlic towards the end of sauteing because it burns more quickly than other vegetables.
…Wait, is garlic a vegetable?
…Debatable. I think the answer is yes.
Add a pinch (or a generous pinch, if you like things spicy!) of cayenne pepper to the onion mixture.
When the pasta is done, add a few spoonfuls of pasta water and some more olive oil to the onions, drain the pasta, and add to onions. Add some black pepper, 1 teaspoon of salt and the juice of two limes to the mix.
Stir to coat and turn off the heat.
Add a whole bunch of arugula. It will look like a ton, but, like spinach, it will wilt down considerably.
Toss with the pasta, cover the pot, and let the heat wilt the arugula a bit.
Meanwhile, cut 1 pint of cherry tomatoes in half, roughly chop about 2 tablespoons of fresh basil, crumble 4 ounces of feta or cotija cheese (or more, or less, it’s really up to you!), and grate about 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese.
When arugula is wilted, add all of these ingredients to the pot. Stir to mix together.
Yum! If the pasta seems a bit dry, just add more olive oil until it is just right :-)
And if you live in Texas and are up for a challenge, go buy some habanero wine to have with dinner.
Spaghetti with Arugula and Cherry Tomatoes
- 8 oz. spaghetti or other pasta shape
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil divided
- 1 red or sweet onion quartered and thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- zest and juice of one lime
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for cooking pasta
- black pepper to taste
- 6 oz. baby arugula
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil roughly chopped or chiffonade
- 4 oz. crumbled feta cheese
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Cook spaghetti according to directions in heavily salted water.
- Right when you start boiling the water for the pasta, sauté the sliced onion in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat in a very large skillet or pot until it's soft and starting to brown (about 3 minutes).
- Turn the heat to low. Add the lime zest, the three cloves garlic, and the cayenne pepper (1/8 teaspoon), continuing to sauté and stirring occasionally, allowing the onions to caramelize a bit until the spaghetti has finished cooking (for about 10 minutes).
- When the pasta is done, add approximately 1/2 cup of the pasta water to the skillet (I use a ladle for this). Use tongs to transfer the cooked spaghetti to the skillet.
- Add the rest of the olive oil (2 tablespoons), kosher salt (1/2 teaspoon), black pepper to taste, and the lime juice (from one lime) to the skillet. Stir to coat and turn the heat to low.
- Add arugula to skillet. Toss with the pasta (tongs are great for this) and let the heat wilt the arugula (about 3 minutes).
- When arugula is wilted, turn off the heat. Add the halved cherry tomatoes (1 pint), fresh basil (2 tablespoons), crumbled feta (4 oz.), and grated parmesan (1/2 cup). Stir together and serve.
- I recommend using a very large skillet (12 inches) so you have enough room to toss everything together, or a deep skillet with sides. If you don't have one, use another pot or Dutch oven.
- Ingredient substitutions: Cotija cheese, queso fresco, or goat cheese can be used for the feta. Lemon zest and juice may be substituted for the lime. Omit the cayenne pepper if you are sensitive to spice. Chopped large tomatoes can be used instead of cherry tomatoes.
Nutrition Information Disclaimer
The provided nutrition information is my best estimate and does not include any added sodium from seasoning to taste, any optional ingredients, and it does not take brands into account. I use an automatic API to calculate this information. Feel free to calculate it yourself using one of these tools: