This healthy and delicious pasta dish is a winner any time of year.
Oven roasting the cherry tomatoes makes them wonderfully sweet, even if they aren't at their peak of flavor. This step takes 2 hours, so be sure to plan accordingly — or better yet, make the tomatoes a day ahead of time.
The goat cheese melts into a creamy sauce (you can use burrata as well), and ribbons of peppery arugula add color and a piquant balance. Toss in a handful of pine nuts for crunch, and you've got dinner on the table in minutes!
1 us liquid pint
whole wheat penne pasta
red pepper flakes (or to taste)
Earthbound Farm Organic Baby Arugula or wild arugula
fresh parsley (minced)
fresh basil (minced)
mild, soft goat cheese (cubed)
toasted pine nuts
Freshly ground black pepper
grated Parmesan cheese
Position a rack in the middle of the oven, and preheat to 225 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat liner and arrange the cherry tomatoes in a single layer, cut side up. Roast the tomatoes until they have begun to shrivel and dry out, 1-1/2 to 2 hours. The tomatoes should retain some moisture, but their flavor will have concentrated and sweetened from the long, slow roasting. Remove the tray from the oven and let the tomatoes cool.
Bring at least 2 quarts of water to a boil over high heat and add 2 tablespoons of salt. Add the pasta and stir for 1 minute. Cook according to package directions or until the penne is al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving at least 1 cup of the pasta cooking liquid.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat and cook the shallots and red pepper flakes until the shallots soften, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
Add the pasta to the skillet with 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. Raise the heat to medium-high and stir in the arugula. Cook, stirring frequently, until the arugula wilts. Add the oven-roasted tomatoes, parsley, and basil, and cook until the mixture is hot, adding more pasta cooking liquid if the mixture seems dry. Stir in the goat cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper.
To serve, transfer the pasta to a large platter and sprinkle with the pine nuts and Parmesan cheese. Serve hot.
Note: Burrata is a fresh Italian cheese, imported from the Apulia region of Italy. It’s a ball of mozzarella with a soft interior of bits of mozzarella and cream, giving it an unusual creamy texture. It is usually served fresh, at room temperature.