Arugula in a salad – and that’s the end of my usual thinking about this peppery-flavored green which is populating my CSA box at the moment. To exit the salad rut, I decided to use it as a flavoring herb in spaghetti sauce. It’s strong flavor meshed very well with the richness of the sauce – I might even add more next time. Be sure to treat it as you would a fresh herb and stir it in right at the end.
Pasta Sauce with Arugula
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped pancetta
1 pound ground beef
2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons oregano
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon salt or more to taste
1 1/2 – 2 cups shredded fresh arugula leaves (no stems)
Cooked pasta (spaghetti, linguini or penne)
Place a large saucepot or Dutch oven over medium heat and add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion and garlic. Cook until the onion and garlic are soft but not brown. Add the pancetta and continue to cook, stirring, until the pancetta is cooked.
In a separate frying pan, cook the ground beef until cooked through and brown. Drain well.
Add the tomatoes, oregano, bay leaf, salt, cooked ground beef and 1 cup water to the onion mixture. Stir together and taste to see if it needs more salt. Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer and cover the pot. Let the sauce simmer for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Turn off the heat and stir in the arugula. Serve over cooked pasta.