A Run on Arugula

arugula.jpgI watched Mark Bittman’s video Pasta With Anchovies and Arugula.

He’s very simpatico and easy to follow and his recipes are usually simple and good. This one is another take on aglio-olio, the iconic Roman dish of spaghetti in garlic and oil.

You can do a lot of things with this dish, adding almost anything you feel like or have around in the fridge, but you have to be careful not to get too creative and ruin what is a classic way to sauce spaghetti. Don’t, for example, throw in that leftover lox from last Sunday’s brunch. That won’t work.

Anyway, I went to the farmer’s market on Saturday – the one across from Lincoln Center – to pick up some farmer-fresh arugula to use in the dish – and every single farmer was sold out of it. It seems everyone on the Upper West Side saw the Mark Bittman video and wanted to make the dish on the same night. Such is the power of the New York Times.

His recipe uses quite a bit of the peppery green, making the dish more like a salad than a pasta – he calls it a “sasta” – so literally tons of arugula were purchased in response to his video.

My opinion? Sasta is nice but pasta is better – a little less green and a little more chew is more to my liking. But I’m crazy about Mark Bittman.


Michael Tucker is an actor and author whose third book is the recently published Family Meals: Coming Together to Care for an Aging Parent.  You can read more about his food adventures on his blog Notes from a Culinary Wasteland.