Sunday, August 26, 2012

Ziti with Arugula and Jaggery

I wasn't sure about this dish after the first bite. It seemed a little too sweet, but after a few more, the flavours blended perfectly. The bitter arugula, the sweetness of the jaggery, a little bit of heat from the chiles, but most of all the fennel. This comes together easily. The original calls for finely chopped tomatoes, but I pulled out some tomato puree from the freezer. The author suggests macaroni, mostaccioli, and orecchiette could be used as pasta laternative. I used orecchiette. I forgot the parmesan I had grated and didn't miss it.

You might get slightly better results with the arugula if you wilted it directly into the sauce and pasta. Otherwise, it clumps quite badly. Original directions are included below.

Two years ago: Broccoli Spears in Garlic Sauce

Ziti with Arugula and Jaggery (from 660 Curries)

450g ziti pasta
450g arugula, washed, stems discarded, large leaves torn
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 - 4 dried Thai or cayenne chiles, stems removed
3 large tomatoes, cored and finely chopped
1/4 cup crumbled jaggery or firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp coarse salt
freshly grated parmesan

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add pasta and cook until fork-tender.
2. In the last minute of pasta cooking, add arugula. Drain pasta and greens and shock with cold water.
3. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle in cumin seeds, fennel seeds, and chiles. Cook until chiles blacken and seeds smell nutty, 20 - 30 seconds.
4. Stir in tomatoes and jaggery and simmer uncovered until tomatoes are warmed through, 5 minutes. Stir in salt.
5. Toss pasta and arugula into sauce and simmer until rewarmed, 3 - 5 minutes.
6. Sprinkle with cheese and serve.

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