Cooking With Vera: Citrus Arugula Orecchiette

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This Citrus Arugula Orecchiette recipe is perfect for your vegetarian and vegan friends because it doesn't even have cheese — but if you don't need it to be vegan, top it with your favorite. It's quick to make and a crowd pleaser!

Ingredients:
• 1 lb. of orecchiette, cooked according to instructions
• ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil (plus more to drizzle on pasta in end)
• 1 7 oz. bag arugula
• 1 lb. of cherry tomatoes medley
• 2 tbsp. of lemon peel, minced, with extra for garnishing
• juice of half a lemon
• 3 cloves (medium) of garlic, minced
• 2 tbsp. Italian seasoning
• 1 tsp. red chili flakes
• ½ cup of pine nuts
• salt and pepper to taste

1. Start the water with ½ cup of salt. Once the water is boiling, cook the pasta according to instructions. The pasta should be done around the same time as the mix below. Don’t overcook it. Drain it and set it aside. (HINT: If it’s done much earlier than the mix below, drain it, leave in the cooking pot, drizzle it with olive oil and mix it so it doesn’t stick together and cover so it stays warm.)

2. Peel the lemon and mince 2 tablespoons

3. Mince 3 to 4 garlic cloves

4. Heat oil on medium heat, add the lemon peel then the minced garlic. Once the garlic becomes fragrant, add the Italian seasonings and chili flakes. Stir continuously for a minute so the seasoning doesn’t burn.

5. Add the cherry tomatoes, stir and cook until just before they burst, about 3 minutes.

6. Add the arugula, pine nuts, lemon juice and pasta. Mix them until the arugula wilts.

7. Plate, garnish with lemon peel, a couple of pine nuts and drizzle with a little olive oil.

Send your comments, questions and recipes to dayside@ktla.com. If we choose your recipe, you can get a Cooking With Vera Apron.

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