Monday, June 7, 2010

Tonight's Dinner

At Quail Hill, members harvest their own spinach and arugula leaf by leaf. That sounded tedious verging on unpleasant to me (before I joined the csa, I don't think I had kneeled in dirt since pre-school, and even back then I wasn't happy about it) before I tried it. But, mysteriously, I find that I go into the most pleasurable trance-like state when I'm picking my spinach and arugula at the farm, staring at the veins and tiny holes (no pesticides at Quail Hill) patterning each chosen leaf before gently placing it in an IGA bag saved for the purpose. I am so intent upon choosing just the right leaves that I barely notice the dirt. I pause only to look up and smile when another member makes joyful exclamation about the crop or offers cooking advice.

We ate the spinach over the weekend, but I had a few large handfuls of spicy local arugula left, so I made this simple pasta dish for dinner tonight.

Linguine with Arugula, Lemon, and Anchovies
Serves 4 to 6

1 pound linguine or spaghetti
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
6 flat anchovy fillets, rinsed and finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
6 cups baby arugula, washed

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the pasta.
2. While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the bread crumbs and 1/8 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and toasted. Set aside.
3. In a medium skillet heat the garlic and oil over medium-high heat until the garlic is fragrant, just a minute or two. Stir in the anchovies until dissolved. Set aside.
4. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of water, and return it to the pot. Stir in the anchovy and garlic mixture, arugula, lemon juice, and water to moisten if necessary. Divide among pasta bowls and sprinkle each portion with some bread crumbs.

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