Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Take A Wild Bunch...

The telephone rings about 7 P.M.
The voice of my son-in-law, Matt, announces that he cannot find the key to the tractor  The tractor, the primary player in harvesting the hand picked grapes, is now silent. The key always safely kept in the tractor ignition is residing in some very secure place known only to itself.  Matt, however, continues his announcement that he has collected wild arugula from the fields.  
Do we have tomatoes, pasta, Parmesan, garlic?   Now, what kitchen wouldn't always have those ingredients for an emergency.  Matt declares that he will be right over with Molly to cook dinner and later play a little Mah Jongg.
The arugula has a brilliant lemon yellow flower and is dotting all of the fields during the fall harvesting season.  As one walks through the plants, a spicy fragrance arises, another sign of cooling weather.  Plucking the leaves from the wild plans produces a bowl of emerald green.
Tomatoes are halved, garlic is chopped and....
and all are sauteed quickly to produce a wonderful bowl of Matt's Arugula Tomato Pasta.
This is a "take a handful" recipe and if you have fresh arugula enjoy Matt's recipe.

Matt's Wild Arugula Pasta
A handful recipe---
A large handful of wild arugula (roquette), or store acquired, leaves striped and roughly chopped.
3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped
Generous amount of olive oil
4-6 handfuls of cherry tomatoes, halvd
Salt and Pepper
Penne or farfalle pasta
Parmigiano reggianno (Parmesan), grated

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil to cook the pasta.  When boiling, add the pasta and cook according to the directions.
Harvest a large bunch of wild arugula (roquette.)  Strip off the leaves and chop in large pieces.
In a shallow sauté pan, sauté the garlic in a generous amount of olive oil until golden.  Be careful not to burn or it will be bitter. 
Add the cherry tomato halves to the pan and sauté for another 2-3 minutes.  Combine the chopped arugula with the tomatoes and garlic and cook another 2-3 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.
The goal is for both the tomatoes and arugula to be lightly cooked only.  You want to retain the freshness of the ingredients.
Meanwhile, drain the cooked pasta and place in a large serving bowl.  Add the arugula tomato sauce and toss gently.
Sprinkle freshly grated Parmigiano reggiano (Parmesan) over the completed pasta dish.
Serve with a bottle of La Gramiere ( ) Rosé.
Matt Kling

Yes, the tractor key was found.  It was residing, not on a key chain, but in the very bottom pocket of dirty work pants.  It now, however, is attached to a vibrant orange
gummi bear.

Á Bientôt,


  1. The wild arugala was perfect on Matt's excellent pasta.

  2. Gummie Bears to the rescue!
    I have a champagne bottle on my key chain...
    I think I need to switch to the reliable Gummie Bear.

  3. I came over from Lynn's blog after I read your "wine-thirty" comment! You are a girl after my own heart.

    Great story, beautiful photos and a recipe -- all in one blog post! I will be visiting often, Cindy (and Joe).