For comfort food many people turn to a pasta. We do, too. My wife and I love a good pasta meal. This is a light dish that can serve as a whole meal in a bowl. It’s fast, succulent, and is packed with good, healthy food.
I chose to use whole wheat spaghetti for this dish, which added a nutty flavor that complements the walnut and garlic sauce and the bitterness of the arugula greens.
Looking for variety or gluten free? There is a wide variety of pasta options made from grains such as spelt, kamut, edemame (this is vegan), buckwheat, quinoa. You can also find gluten-free pasta made from grains such as rice and corn. Most of these alternatives have more dietary fiber and nutritional value than traditional Durham Semolina or egg noodles.
What you'll need to make six servings
2 heads – garlic, cloves separated and peeled
4 Tbsp. - extra virgin olive oil (divided)
1 cup - vegetable or fish broth
2 tsp. - balsamic vinegar
1 cup - walnuts, toasted and chopped (divided)
1 lb. - shrimp (26-20 count)
1 lb. - pound long pasta (spaghetti, linguine, etc.)
12 oz. - arugula
Grated Romano cheese
1 – sprig of parsley
Place three tablespoons of the oil and all the garlic cloves in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the garlic is brown on all sides, about 8 minutes. Stir to prevent the garlic from sticking to the saucepan and burning. Add the broth, vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and cook until garlic is soft, about 5 minutes. Place the mixture in a food processor. Add half the walnuts and process until smooth. Set aside.
Heat four quarts of water in a large pot to cook the pasta. Add about two teaspoons of salt. When the water boils add the pasta and cook until al denté (done to the tooth).
While the pasta cooks, heat the remaining oil in a 12-inch skillet. When the oil is shimmering add the shrimp in a single layer. Cook until just pink on one side. Flip and repeat.
Add the arugula to the shrimp and toss to mix. The arugula will cook in one to two minutes.
Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Place the pasta and shrimp mixture into the pasta pot. Add the sauce and the remaining walnuts. Gently stir to evenly mix everything together. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Place into bowls, top with a spring of parsley. Serve with finely grated Romano.
© Bob Mack/Luvs Good Food