This divinely simple pasta recipe comes from The Italian Vegetable Cookbook by Michele Scicolone. The mostly meatless cookbook focuses on the vibrant use of fresh fruits and veggies in the tradition of la cucina Italiana, and Scicolone's Orecchiette with Potatoes and Arugula makes for a stunning one-pot supper.

Orecchiette with Potatoes and Arugula

Serves 6

Arugula is ideal as a salad green, but that doesn’t mean it’s not good cooked. In Puglia, it is used in soups and pasta sauces and sauteed as a side dish. This recipe pairs orecchiette, little ear-shaped pasta, with arugula and potatoes. For the sauce, the potatoes turn creamy as they cook in the same pot with the pasta, and the pasta and vegetables get an added lift from sauteed garlic and a hint of hot pepper.


  • Salt
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper
  • 1⁄3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 2 medium waxy potatoes, such as Yukon Golds, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 pound orecchiette
  • 8 ounces arugula, washed and trimmed

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Meanwhile, in a skillet large enough to hold all of the ingredients, cook the garlic and red pepper in the oil over medium heat until the garlic is golden and fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.

Add the potatoes to the boiling water. When the water is boiling again, stir in the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender and the pasta is al dente. Stir in the arugula. Scoop out some of the cooking water and set aside. Drain the pasta.

Place the skillet over medium heat, add the pasta and vegetables and toss well. Add a little of the cooking water if the pasta seems dry. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and serve immediately.

Excerpted from The Italian Vegetable Cookbook by Michele Scicolone. Copyright © 2014 by Michele Scicolone. Photographs by Alan Richardson. Excerpted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Read our review of this book.

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