Thursday, October 6, 2011

Penne with Beef and Arugula

This is sophisticated comfort food if ever I saw (and tasted) it!  Hearty, yet light; flavorful, yet without complicated ingredients.  Enjoy this dish hot off the stove, or an hour or two later at room temperature.  It's even great as an elegant picnic dish!

2 New York strip steaks, about 8 ounces each
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon herbs de Provence
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 - 3/4 cup plus 3 T extra virgin olive oil
1 pound penne pasta
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 T Dijon mustard
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 cups chopped arugula

Season the steaks with salt, pepper, herbs de Provence, and garlic.  In a skillet, heat 3 T olive oil over medium heat.  Cook the steaks about 7 minutes per side, or until cooked as desired.  Remove the meat to a cutting board and let it rest while you cook the pasta.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.  Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, 8-10 minutes.  Drain.

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, basil, parsley, and olive oil (starting with 1/4 cup and tasting as you go, adding up to 3/4 cup total).  In a large bowl, toss the pasta with half the salad dressing and set aside.

Slice the steaks thin and add to the pasta with the arugula.  Add the remainder of the dressing and season with salt and pepper as needed.

Serves 6-8.

Adapted from Everyday Pasta, by Giada De Laurentiis.

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