I found this recipe in the New Haven Register yesterday. It is from Frank and Claire Criscuolo who own two restaurants in New Haven. It was big hit. This recipe is for 8 people so I adjusted the portions.
MAFALDA PASTA WITH BRAISED ARUGULA SAUCE
- Sea salt
- 16 ounces mafalda pasta or other pasta of your choice
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 medium red onions, cut in half, then into ribs, separated
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced
- 7 ounces baby arugula, about 8 cups
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup pasta cooking water
- 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled, optional
- 4 tablespoons grated pecorino Romano cheese, optional
- Grated lemon zest from 1 lemon
Bring a large covered pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and garlic, and sprinkle with a little sea salt. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes, until the edges of the onions and garlic begin to brown, but not burn.
Add arugula, red pepper flakes and a little sea salt. Using tongs, turn the arugula to coat with oil and onions. Cook for just several seconds, occasionally turning the arugula using tongs until the arugula just wilts, then turn off the heat and leave the skillet on the stove.
Once the pot of water reaches a rapid boil, stir in pasta and cook according to package directions, but add drained chickpeas during the last minute of cooking the pasta to heat them. Before draining the pasta, remove 1 cup of the pasta cooking water and stir this into the cooked arugula. Taste for seasoning, keeping in mind that if you plan to use pecorino Romano cheese later in the recipe, go easy on the salt as the cheese tends to be salty.
Drain pasta and chickpeas and turn into a serving bowl. Spoon arugula and all the juices onto the cooked pasta. Using wooden spoons, gently toss the pasta to coat with the arugula sauce. If using goat cheese, scatter the pieces evenly over the pasta; then, if using the pecorino Romano cheese, sprinkle this evenly over the pasta. Scatter grated lemon zest evenly over the pasta and serve immediately. Makes 8 servings.