Penne with Roasted Potatoes, Arugula and Rosemary from Alice Waters’ Classic Cookbook, Chez Panisse Vegetables
Ah, New England and the sudden changing of seasons. It really feels like late fall now… There’s even snow and sleet in tomorrow’s weather forecast. S-n-o-w. I feel chilly just typing those letters. The word always has a certain weight to it, doesn’t it? And although the wunderground.com weather report indicates no more than an inch or two of frozen, wet precipitation, I realize that it’s time to finish buttoning things up in the garden.
Last week I spent quite a bit of time readying the potager for winter; testing and amending the soil, and adding a thick layer of compost to the mounded vegetable beds. My late autumn check-list also included mulching the newly planted garlic and root vegetables —including carrots and beets— with clean straw. I am in the habit of sprinkling a bit of greensand —as well as necessary supplements— into the beds as I shovel black-gold atop everything in a thick, dark blanket. While turning over a couple of planting beds, I unearthed some little jewels – more late-season potatoes. As I slowly lifted my shovel, I was surprised and delighted to find a few shocking-pink Desiree (beautiful pink/red- skinned potatoes) nestled in the loose, dark earth. I gathered the colorful loot, along with some fresh arugula from the hoop house, and brought them indoors for dinner.
Long one of my favorite cookbooks, Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse Vegetables, includes a delightful recipe combining pasta, roasted potatoes, onions, garlic, rosemary and arugula. Right now, my garden and root cellar are filled with these crops, making this pasta the perfect late-fall dish. And although delicious in its original form, I also enjoy the sauteed vegetables served alone, or with a piece of crusty, French bread. I like to add a bit of balsamic glaze (a balsamic vinegar reduction) to the onions as they cook, but other than that, I usually follow Alice’s recipe…
Penne with Roasted Potatoes, Arugula and Rosemary
- A long-standing favorite from Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse Vegetables-
1 Pound small, firm potatoes (I used gourmet red, purple and yellow varieties)
1 Small red onion
4 Cloves hard-neck garlic (I used German red)
1 Sprig of rosemary (leaves from a roughly 6″, freshly harvested piece)
1/2 Pound of arugula (in this instance, the mature, firm leaves are best)
3/4 Pound of penne
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar glaze (optional)
1/2 Cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and Pepper
Preheat an oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit. Wash and slice potatoes into 1/3″ rounds. Toss with a bit of olive oil, salt and black pepper and spread the potatoes in as single layer across a baking sheet. Place in the oven and roast for about 15 or 20 minutes, until golden and tender.
While the potatoes are roasting, thinly slice the red onion, chop the rosemary leaves and peel and finely chop the garlic. Set aside. Wash and drain the arugula leaves (pat off with paper towels or run through a salad spinner), lightly tear them up and set aside.
Fill a large pot with water, lightly salt and bring to a boil.
Remove the roasted potatoes from the oven and set aside to cool…
Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a saute pan and add the sliced onion. Cook and stir for 15 minutes or so, until soft and a light, golden-brown color begins to appear. Drizzle lightly with balsamic glaze, and add the potatoes, garlic and rosemary while lowering the heat. Stir until well mixed. Add the arugula leaves.
Drain the pasta well and slowly add to the vegetables, tossing with olive oil and the juice of half a lemon as you go.
Serve warm in shallow pasta bowls.
Article and photographs ⓒ 2010 Michaela at TGE
Recipe source: Alice Waters – Chez Panisse Vegetables
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