It’s been a little while since I made pasta from scratch. Last week, I was contemplating how to use up a few things in the fridge, including some hard goat cheese and some arugula. After making and eating an enormous tagine the week before, I now found myself thinking about preserved lemon more often than was entirely appropriate. And then, because that’s how the universe works, a pasta recipe made its way to me from Molly Yeh’s blog, AND IT HAD PRESERVED LEMON IN IT!
I naturally proceeded to make a pasta dish that was similar to, yet simultaneously rather unlike Molly Yeh’s pasta in its flavor profile, having just two identical ingredients, namely papperdelle pasta and preserved lemon. I was after all trying to use up certain things in my fridge, and although preserved lemons were in there, they didn’t actually need to be used up (on account of being preserved and all…).
First, I made the pasta dough. You can look here for more about the procedure I usually use. This time, I couldn’t be bothered to assemble, disassemble, and clean my pasta machine, so I went old fashioned and rolled and cut the pasta by hand. That’s ok, that’s called rustic.
After that, it was a very easy and quick pasta dish to make. Substitute store bought fresh pasta, and you’ve got yourself an easy-to-achieve weeknight meal for when you want to eat something special but can’t be bothered to cook for more than 15 minutes, because you’ve been slaving away in the lab all day. Or wherever you work – you get the idea.
Anyway, goat cheese makes this pasta feel like you’re on a farm eating it, and the preserved lemon makes it feel like you’re definitely not, or if you are, it’s a farm where they accidentally pickled lemons instead of cucumbers, which turned out to be a good thing. The arugula adds some peppery spice (not to mention that the husband ate this vegetable without complaining, because pasta), and the pepitas add crunch and a nutty, toasty flavor.
Pasta with Preserved Lemon, Arugula, and Goat Cheese
- 200 grams fresh pasta (I used flat, broad, papperdelle pasta)
- 1/2 dl pepitas
- 2 handfuls arugula
- 1/4 preserved lemon
- 2 cloves garlic
- 50 grams hard goat cheese
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt (plus extra for boiling the pasta)
Bring a big pot of water to a boil. While you're waiting, prepare the ingredients.
Toast the pepitas in a small pan for a few minutes until lightly browned and crisp.
Wash and dry the arugula, and mince or press the garlic.
Wash excess brine of the preserved lemon and slice it thinly.
Finely slice the goat cheese like you would parmesan. You can use a mandolin or a potato peeler to help you control the thickness of the slices.
Salt the boiling water and cook the fresh pasta for a few minutes until it is tender. Drain the pasta in a colander or sieve.
Heat the olive oil in a large pot or pan over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook until it starts to become golden.
Mix the preserved lemon slices and the arugula into the garlic and oil, season lightly with salt (but remember that the preserved lemons are already very salty) and let everything cook until the arugula has wilted.
Add the pasta to the pot and gently combine. Take the pot off the heat and mix in the pepitas.
Transfer pasta to plates, top with goat cheese (and an extra drizzle of olive oil if you're feeling generous), and serve.