|Pasta With Cherry Tomatoes and Arugula
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved if small, quartered if large
1 plump garlic clove, minced or put through a press (more to taste)
Salt to taste (I like to use a very good coarse sea salt or fleur de sel for this)
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar (optional)
1 cup arugula leaves, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon slivered or chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3/4 pound fusille, farfalle, or orecchiette
1/4 cup freshly grated ricotta salata or Parmesan (more to taste)
Combine the cherry tomatoes, garlic, salt, balsamic vinegar, arugula, basil, and olive oil in a wide bowl. Let sit for 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add a generous amount of salt and the pasta. Cook al dente, until the pasta is firm to the bite. Drain, toss with the tomatoes, sprinkle on the cheese, and serve.
Yield: Makes 4 servings
Advance preparation: You can make the tomato and arugula mixture a few hours ahead.
MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN