Arugula & Rigatoni with Tomato Sauce

If you have arugula or “garden rocket” growing in your June garden, it’s probably become a little spicy and is ready to bolt. Try this delicious pasta recipe. You will easily use up a couple fistfuls of arugula and have yourself a salad and side dish in one. The arugula flavor mellows when combined with the hot pasta and savory sauce.

We were having fish for dinner so I made a few changes. Didn’t seem as though we needed cheese tonight so this was omitted. Our tarragon is still tender so I stripped the leaves from three long stems and threw those on top and that was a good partner with the fish. Decided to eliminate the basil.  Arugula pastaAlso the onions need to be used before I take off to the New York Botanic Garden to speak about and demonstrate how to grow a food garden in containers.  Next I chopped an onion and stirred it around in the  olive oil and garlic. There is nothing like travel time away from the summer garden to send us bustling around trying to get everything done.

4 cups arugula leaves washed, drained and trimmed
1 pound uncooked rigatoni or other small pasta
2 cups chopped fresh or canned tomatoes
3 garlic cloves pressed or minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried
salt & red or black pepper to taste

Tear arugula into generous bite-sized pieces. Lay the leaves in a large, heat resistant, shallow serving dish. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water until it reaches that barely tender stage. Remove and drain. While the pasta is cooking prepare this easy tomato sauce: Heat olive oil and stir garlic around until softened and fragrant. Add tomatoes and seasonings and heat to a simmer. Remove bay leaf.  Pour the hot, drained steaming pasta, over the bed of arugula.  Spread the tomato sauce over the pasta. Let a few bright green leaves show around the edges of the pasta. Do not toss together. Serve with grated parmesan cheese. Serves 4-6.

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Easy Gardening Tip – Water

Plan now for summer water conservation. Choices include drip tape, porous leaky pipe, and drip emitter kits. Combine any of these with timers and you are delivering proper amounts of water to each area of the garden. Avoiding overhead watering reduces disease and increases yields. Less time spent on weeding is a significant advantage. Obviously, a bed of mesclun, a row of tomatoes, and a container garden all have differing needs and there’s a proper setup for all. Garden supply stores are better stocked in spring than midsummer when the water crunch hits. Take a look around now to determine which is best for you.

Porous leaky pipe made of recycled tires can clog if your water has a high sediment content. If they are only going to be in place for a year and soon end up in a landfill you may want to select a different system.

Drip Irrigation for Every Landscape and All Climates by Robert Kourik is considered the bible on this topic.