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Cook: Angel Hair Pasta with Garlic-Chili Oil and Arugula


Currently on my mind:
That cool breeze blowing through the window feels lovely.
This cat, sleeping upside down with all four paws in the air, is snoring very loudly.  That’s probably not normal.
I might make another cup of tea.  I should go to the gym.
I could use a manicure.
I want to start painting again.
I need a new series on Netflix to watch.
Why is Gordon Ramsey so terrible on Hell’s Kitchen, but so nice on MasterChef?  And why does Joe Bastianich taste the food and then look enigmatically, and disdainfully, at the person and not say a word?  What does he think he’s doing there?
Oh, and naturally, Pasta.  I’m always thinking about pasta.
It’s clear that I’ve got a thing for pasta, but surprisingly, I’ve never been crazy about angel hair pasta.  It always seems overcooked, under-seasoned, and completely overwhelmed by whatever it’s served with.  So when I found this recipe on Shutterbean, based on Tyler Florence’s recipe, I was torn.  I love arugula, chili, lemon, and garlic, not so crazy about the pasta.
Assuming I’d been unfairly judging the daintiest of pastas, I gave it a try, and I’m very happy I did.
There’s a lot to be said about this dish’s simplicity.  The flavors are clean, bright, and fresh and do not overwhelm the angel hair pasta.
I have a serious thing for arugula, so I made mine with more arugula and less pasta, but the beauty of this is that each person can customize their serving however they want!  More pasta, less pasta, it’s your world.
With a pasta so delicate, the flavors you pair with it need to be just as light and delicate.  This was the perfect combination of delicious, simple, quick, and fresh.  It’s perfect for a summer dinner al fresco or a quick weeknight meal.
And if I find out what happened to my knife, I’ll let you know.
Here’s the recipe!
Angel Hair Pasta with Garlic-Chili Oil and Arugula (Adapted from Shutterbean)
  • 1 box angel hair pasta
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • salt and pepper
  • about 6 cups baby arugula (I just used one whole pre-packaged bag)
  • Parmesan for serving
  1. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add garlic and chili flakes and cook over gentle heat for about 5-7 minutes.  Watch carefully so the garlic doesn’t begin to brown.  Season with salt and pepper, then remove from the heat and add lemon zest.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook angel hair pasta according to package directions, about 3-4 minutes.  Reserve about 1/2 a cup of the cooking liquid and drain.  Return to the pot and add arugula, tossing to combine.  The arugula will wilt into the hot pasta.  Add infused oil and toss again, adding pasta water to loosen if necessary.  Squeeze lemon juice over the whole thing and toss.  Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
  3. Serve in bowls with grated Parmesan cheese and an extra squeeze of lemon.

2 thoughts on “Cook: Angel Hair Pasta with Garlic-Chili Oil and Arugula

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