What do you want to eat?
I don’t know, what do you want to eat?
I don’t know. That’s why I asked you.
I’m so hungry, I can’t decide.
Well, I can’t either. What do you want to eat?
And so it goes, almost every Saturday when Sophie and I are at the Farmer’s market. On Friday night we make plans to meet there early the next morning. But what with one thing or another, we end up there at about noon. Not only is it the most crowded time to go, but we are both already very hungry for lunch.
This hunger has an odd effect on our shopping. The expected one, that we want to buy EVERYTHING, goes with out saying. And we do end up buying WAY too much.
But then, with our sacks full, we realize that when we get home we are going to want lunch, and want it fast, since we are STARVING. (Side note: we have no business being starving, since we basically eat for a living and have certainly stuffed our faces enough to get through a few hours without a meal). We realize that almost everything in our shopping bags will take too much time to clean then cook to meet with our hunger before we kill each other.
Also? We are so hungry that we can’t make any kind of informed decision about what we feel like eating. Do you ever get like that? So hungry that you can’t decide what to eat? I know it has to do with low blood sugar, and my brain gets so fuzzy it can’t communicate with my tummy. I’ve definitely passed along this gene to Sophie (along with my thighs.) (Sorry Sophie).
This past Saturday, as we left the market in our low blood sugar starved haze, I ended grabbing these seemingly random ingredients and turning it into a satisfying, easy and quick pasta that was ready in under 15 minutes without either of us committing murder.
The random ingredients: fresh pasta, almonds, arugula, anchovies, scallions, garlic.
Which, by the way, is just as easy at the end of the day for dinner when you don’t really have time to cook as it is when you come back from the farmer’s market starving.
- 500 grams fresh pasta (tagliolini)*
- ½ cup almonds, chopped
- 3 scallions
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 bunches of arugula
- 3 chopped anchovies
- 1 lemon
- ¼ cup olive oil, plus more for finishing
- Bring a big pot of salted water to boil.
- While water is boiling, roughly chop the almonds. (skin on or off, doesn’t matter)
- Trim and slice the scallions into ¼ centimeter pieces.
- Finely chop garlic.
- Wash and roughly chop the arugula, removing any woody stems.
- Using a vegetable peeler, peel off the lemon zest, and then finely chop it.
- Once the water is boiling put in the pasta.
- In the meantime, heat the olive oil over a medium flame in a pan big enough to hold all of the pasta. Add the almonds and let them begin to brown (about 2 minutes).
- Add the scallions, anchovies and garlic and stir, tossing over heat for about a minute until the scallions wilt a bit and the anchovies being to fall apart.
- By this time your past should be almost cooked (fresh pasta cooks fast) . Using a cup, reserve a cup of the cooking water, and drain the pasta.
- Add the drained pasta to the pan with the almonds and scallions. Stir and mix, adding about half of the reserved water. Add the grated lemon zest and the chopped arugula, tossing and mixing. You might have to add the arugula a bit at a time, as it wilts.
- When it is well mixed, add the juice from the lemon you have zested and the rest of the pasta cooking water. Toss well.
- Turn off the heat and add a drizzle of really great olive oil, and stir.
- Serve. You can top with with either freshly ground black pepper or red pepper flakes.
- *You can make this with dried pasta, but it will just take a bit longer.