Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Arugula-Pecan Pasta with Local Flatiron Steak

Don't go thinking I'm inspired all the time. Last night we had scrambled eggs with leftover spinach in them, and toast. For which, of course, I am very grateful.

Still, I was ready for something with a little zing tonight, but couldn't seem to zero in on anything. It's always tempting to cave in and go out. But reading Cathy Erway's book is inspiring because she went without eating in a restaurant for TWO YEARS. I know Mr. Eating the Scenery prefers eating in, so I really try to make that happen.

When uninspired, I usually start tidying things up, and in so doing, I picked up the latest issue of Sunset magazine, which (!) had a page turned down on this recipe!

I had two bags of local arugula, and had picked up some flatiron steak from Pat 'n Tam's at the Pasco farmer's market a couple of weeks ago. Sunset called for walnuts in the pesto, but I was out of them so used pecans. And they used hangar steak and made a complex sauce for it. But I used up all my cooking mojo for today just making the pesto.
Adapted from Sunset Magazine

When using arugula in salads, I usually tear out the big stems. But for pesto, you can leave them on! I always toss the pesto with only part of the pasta at first, and only mix in more if needed to get the pesto:pasta ratio just right.

1 pound dried pasta ... penne, farfalle, rotini ... no matter

2 bags (about 2 quarts sort-of-packed) arugula, washed and spun dry, and lightly snipped down with kitchen shears to reduce its volume
Grated peel of one lemon
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/4 cup walnuts or pecans
3-4 ounces (about 3/4 cup) crumbled Oregon blue cheese, divided

Put pasta water on to heat. Cook pasta according to your taste.

In food processor, combine arugula, lemon peel, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth and desired pesto texture is achieved. Add nuts and 1/2 cup of the blue cheese. Blend just until cheese and nuts are in small pieces.

Toss pesto with hot, drained pasta, and top with remaining crumbled blue cheese.

For the steak:

I simply broiled the flatiron steak about 8 inches from the broiler until it was browned, and turned it once, broiling again until medium rare when sliced. Salt and pepper was all it needed. This is the first Pat 'n Tam's steak I've had, and the flavor was excellent.

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