Orecchiette with Arugula sauce and “olio santo”.
Orrecchiete and cavatelli are the true pastas of puglia. As is tradition, the women make pasta by hand, but there are some nice authentic brands on line and in better Italian markets too.
The pasta is special there as they use real local semolina flour. It makes a nice rich and chewy pasta that holds the “Condiment” well. This dish features arugula Rustica.which is foraged and also cultivated. It is more bitter and intense than our California version. Get some arugula sylvetta seeds and grow it! You’ll love it. Here is a link-
1 lb artisan orecchiette pasta or home made
For the sauce.
4 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
1/4 cup good olive oil
pinch of salt
1 can high quality plum tomatoes, squished by hand, reserving the juice too
Generous handful chopped basil
1 lb arugula
1/2 cup Pecorino Romano cheese plus more for the table.
Bring a pot of generously salted water to a rolling boil.
Drop in the orecchiette and stir.
Simultaneously, In a heavy skillet, add the olive oil and when it is shimmering add the garlic and a pinch of salt.
Stir the pasta again.
When the garlic is getting golden to amber colored add the tomatoes all at once.
Swirl the pan. Let simmer until the pasta is ready.
Check the pasta. When it is al dente add the arugula to the pasta water. Cook one minute and drain.
Add the basil, cooked pasta and arugula to the pan. Stir in the Romano cheese and serve right away with nore cheese on the side.