Friday, March 10, 2006

Recipe for Spaghetti with Italian Sausage and Arugula.

Of all the salad greens, there's no question my very favorite is arugula, especially the baby arugula that comes in small plastic tubs already washed, so convenient. My step-sister Karyn grows her own arugula, something I guess I must try this year, although the hot summers in Utah make it a little hard to grow lettuce.

Arugula is a peppery tasting salad green also called rocket, roquette, rugula, or rucola, depending on where you live. It is low in calories and nutritous, and was used in ancient times as an ingredient in aphrodasiac concoctions. Some sources I found said that it's an herb, a member of the mustard family, while others claimed it's a cruciferous vegetable. Apparently arugula sprouts are also tasty. Previously I wrote about Arugula and Sweet Mini Pepper Salad, one of my favorite ways to eat it. I also think it's spectacular simply dressed with Mary's Perfect Salad Dressing, and eaten plain. The recipe below was my first time eating it in a hot dish, but it was wonderful with the sausage and pasta in this recipe where the arugula is wilted, but not really cooked.

If you're not that familiar with it, arugula may be kind of an acquired taste, it's slightly sharp and bitter tasting. If it's not really your thing, you could use spinach, or this would also be good with other greens like collards, mustard greens, or broccoli rabe, but those would need to be cooked separately and then added to the dish. This was so quick to make and so delicious, I think it might become my new favorite after-work dinner.

Spagetti with Italian Sausage and Arugula
(Makes 2-3 servings, can be doubled or tripled, inspired by many similar recipes online)

2 links (about 1/2 pound) turkey Hot Italian Sausage
2 tsp. olive oil
4 oz. (1/4 box) Dreamfields spaghetti
3 oz. arugula, preferably organic (I used Earthbound Farms Organic Baby Arugula)
1 tsp. finely minced garlic (or less, to taste)
1/2 cup pasta cooking water
2 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
(I buy lemons at Costco, squeeze them, and freeze the juice)
Parmesan cheese for serving, preferably freshly grated

In nonstick frying pan, heat olive oil, then squeeze sausage out of casing into pan and brown well, breaking up into small pieces as it cooks.

While sausage is cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add spaghetti and cook 8-9 minutes, or until barely done and still *al dente* (with a little bite to it.)

Put arugula into large bowl, glass or crockery is best. When sausage is well browned, drain if there is very much fat, then pour sausage over arugula. Put frying pan back on stove, turn heat to very low, add garlic and saute about 30 seconds. Add 1/4 cup pasta cooking water and lemon juice and heat 2 minutes.

When spaghetti seems done, scoop out 1/4 cup of pasta cooking water in case you need it, then drain pasta well and put in bowl with arugula and sausage. Let sit 2 minutes to wilt arugula. Then add water/lemon juice/pasta water mixture from frying pan and toss all ingredients together. If it seems dry, add a bit more of the reserved pasta cooking water.

Serve hot, with Parmesan cheese grated over top.

South Beach Suggestions:
I know that some of you South Beach Diet readers are thinking, why is she writing about spaghetti, but the spaghetti in this dish is Dreamfields low carb pasta, which tastes just like real pasta. Not only that, the sausage is turkey Italian Sausage, approved for the South Beach Diet, and of course arugula is a healthy veggie on any kind of diet. It would be tempting to eat a big plate of this and call it dinner, but since I've been eating the South Beach way, I've started to eat pasta in small servings, almost as a side dish rather than the main meal. I would probably eat this with a yummy vegetable like Fresh Artichokes with Mom's Dipping Sauce or Roastee Broccoli with Garlic.
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More to Chew On:


  1. Are you making sure that the pasta is 100% whole wheat under the ingredients? Many times "Low carb" is not the right choice for South Beach Dieter's.

  2. To whoever left that comment, I respectfully disagree. I have eaten Dreamfields pasta for more than a year and a half and have not had a problem with it. OF course everyone has the right to make their own choices, so if you feel more comfortable with 100% whole wheat pasta, then that is what you should eat. I'm just basing this on my experience.

  3. looks delicious kalyn! i will have to try that version. i recently did the broccoli rabe thing with sausage, would never think to put arugula in the mix. mmm!

  4. This looks good, and I love arugula.

  5. I agree. That looks wonderful!

  6. Thanks for sharing the spaghetti recipe -- looks delicious!

  7. I love arugula and pasta! Looks delicious!

  8. Oh my - I am going to have to try this one. I love, love, love arugula. I also have some that I need to use up, so this will have to go on the menu for next week.

    That means I'll have to buy some sausage and break my "buy no meat/cook out the freezer" rule, but so be it! It will be for a good cause - making sure the arugula does not go to waste. :)

  9. Hello Kalyn!!
    I am back finally and you should have an email with my submission for this weeks WHB postings.

    Hope you are doing well!

  10. Thanks for commenting back... I have been on the "beach" for almost a year and get most of my information from and from Dr. A's writings. While I agree that you can make your own decisions as long as they work for you, having to choose 100% whole wheat is a "rule" for the south beach diet. Like if I go to subway, I cannot eat their "wheat bread" or Low carb wraps because of the ingredients.

    Anyway, you have done fantastic, congratulations! I just wanted to bring it up for others because a lot of newbies to the beach can get confused with all of the choices of "whole wheat".

  11. Anonymous, I do agree that the rules about "whole wheat" can be confusing. I'm very careful about bread, and usually make my own to be sure it's 100% whole wheat. (Lots of breads put "wheat flour" on the label, but it's not 100% whole wheat. I don't eat at Subway, but I'm guessing that's what their wheat bread would be too.) But the "rule" about whole wheat is because of the impact on blood sugar that white flour has. Dreamfield's pasta doesn't have that effect on blood sugar.

  12. I also love the arugula- pasta combination!

  13. Ann is a Scammer and a pirate. Think twice before your report people.


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