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Lemon and Arugula Rigatoni

Lemon Arugula Rigatoni

When we first started cooking, we wanted everything quick. The quicker the better, in our minds. We took lots of shortcuts to get to delicious food in the fastest way possible. Along we the way, we started to learn that while some shortcuts work, others sacrifice flavor in a big way. Sometimes, there actually is a reason to simmer a soup longer than 20 minutes, or to wait for dough to rest. We’ve learned that the hard way — but gained valuable lessons about what is worth the wait.

Now that we don’t mind spending a little extra time for the payoff in the end, quick meals that don’t sacrifice flavor are “it” for us. This pasta is one of those — zesty, tart lemon along with fresh baby arugula, white beans, and savory Pecorino cheese. It’s essential Italian: simple flavors at their finest, and can be pulled off in 30 minutes or less.

We were hooked the first time we made it with baby arugula from Full Hand Farm, and have made it again a few times for some meals with friends. Since it’s so quick and simple, we’ve added it to our list of recipes in the Healthy + Whole series too. It’s already become a “Go To” meal for us.

We’d love to hear from our readers — what are your favorite, simple “Go To” meals?  Please let us know your ideas in the comments below, or using the Contact form. We’ll take our favorite reader ideas and turn them into a Healthy + Whole recipe!

Lemon Arugula Rigatoni

5.0 from 1 reviews
Lemon and Arugula Rigatoni
 
by:
Serves: 4
What You Need
  • ¾ pound whole wheat or gluten-free rigatoni
  • 4 cups baby arugula
  • 15-ounce can cannellini beans
  • 1 lemon (zest and juice)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¾ cup grated Pecorino (or Parmesan) cheese, plus more for serving (optional)
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
What To Do
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package instructions.
  2. Meanwhile, drain and rinse the cannellini beans and place them in a large bowl with 4 cups arugula. Add zest and juice of the lemon to the bowl, then add 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Toss gently to combine all flavors.
  3. When pasta is done, drain it and add immediately to the large bowl with beans and arugula. Add another 1 tablespoon olive oil and ¾ cup Pecorino cheese and stir to combine (the warm pasta will wilt the arugula and warm the beans).
  4. Serve immediately, topped with additional cheese, salt, pepper, olive oil and/or lemon zest if desired.
Notes
Adapted from Martha Stewart

 

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31 Comments

  • Reply
    Abby
    April 14, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    The warm weather has made me CRAVE simple lemony dishes. This pasta sounds perfect. Just a tip- the canalinis don’t appear in the list of ingredients in the recipe.

  • Reply
    Sonja
    April 14, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    Thanks, Abby! Fixed :)

  • Reply
    marcie@flavorthemoments
    April 14, 2013 at 11:14 pm

    This dish looks healthy, fresh, and satisfying. I’ve been using a lot of lemons lately, and will continue to do so when I make this!

  • Reply
    Tieghan
    April 14, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    oh i love this. So fresh and light!! This is exactly what I am craving these days!

  • Reply
    Ashley
    April 15, 2013 at 12:37 am

    Absolutely adore these 2 photos and the simplicity of this dish. Will definitely be making this soon! All about the lemon lately.

  • Reply
    Beata
    April 15, 2013 at 1:59 am

    This seems incredible!

  • Reply
    Kathryn
    April 15, 2013 at 6:09 am

    Pasta is definitely my go too when I want a quick meal (which I do quite often). I’ve made a similar recipe before with parsley rather than arugula which was so tasty. Can’t wait to give this one a try!

  • Reply
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    April 15, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    Love how quick this is – and pretty! Such a great weeknight meal :)

  • Reply
    Lindsey @ Pas de Deux
    April 15, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    Isn’t it funny how you can “forget” favorite recipes and flavors as the seasons change? This is such a classic, perfect flavor combination, but staring at a bag of arugula at the market last weekend, I would never have remembered it. Thanks for this delicious, simple recipe–I can’t wait to make it!
    P.S. The lemon zest in your photos is just so lovely! It really makes the photos *pop*!

    • Reply
      Sonja
      April 18, 2013 at 11:10 pm

      You are welcome — we hope you enjoy it! And thanks re the lemon zest — it really makes the flavor pop too!

  • Reply
    Michelle Ritchie | Delicious Karma
    April 15, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    LOVE arugula! And pasta. And cheese. And white beans. This looks the perfect dish for me! :-) I posted this to our Delicious Karma “Pasta” Pinterest Board so I can come back and make it!

    • Reply
      Sonja
      April 18, 2013 at 11:09 pm

      Haha – perfect! Hope you enjoy it :)

  • Reply
    Jenny
    April 16, 2013 at 1:36 am

    When I saw this post this morning, I immediately knew what I was making for dinner tonight. So I tried it out, and it was delicious and a very quick dinner to make! Perfect for weeknight meals. Thank you for the recipe and the inspiration!

    • Reply
      Sonja
      April 18, 2013 at 11:08 pm

      Wow — so glad to hear that it worked out! You are so welcome.

  • Reply
    The Foreign Mummy Blog
    April 16, 2013 at 2:58 am

    I love simple pasta recipes as they always taste more amazing than you’d think just looking at the ingredients list. And if they’ve got lemon – even better! This one sounds great, another one to try out.

  • Reply
    Courtney @ Neighborfood
    April 16, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    I love dishes like this that are bright and quick. We really love stir frys for easy weeknight meals. We throw whatever veggies we have in a skillet with chicken or thin strips of beef and saute it in sesame oil. We are huge fans of Asian sauces and like being able to customize it to be more sweet or spicy (we might be a tad obsessed with Sriracha!) depending on our mood. We serve it over udon or rice noodles for a quick filling meal!

    • Reply
      Sonja
      April 18, 2013 at 11:05 pm

      Sounds delicious — we’re huge Sriracha fans too. The stir fry is such a great improv meal! We’ve been doing a variation on it a lot lately – fried rice – a similar “clean out the fridge” type of idea.

  • Reply
    Kate
    April 17, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    Looks great! I love the beans with the pasta :)

  • Reply
    Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies
    April 17, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    I never tire of pasta dinners. Whenever I know I’m not going to have much time to cook, I put pasta on the menu and it’s never a disappointment. I love this recipe–so simple and delicious!

    • Reply
      Sonja
      April 18, 2013 at 11:02 pm

      I know – pasta is a lifesaver!

  • Reply
    Belinda @themoonblushbaker
    April 20, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    I love you added the white beans to this recipe. Anything to get a balanced, cheap meal in under 30 minutes. Ah life of student, thank for the recipe.

  • Reply
    Dawn
    April 20, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    Like!
    This is a must try for me.
    Lately I’ve been so into simple pasta with GOOD products. Varying peas, corn, pancetta, ham, bacon (depending on what’s in my pantry/fridge)…parm, asiago, etc., garlic (I LOVE roasted)…
    http://dawnspitfire.wordpress.com/2013/01/29/pasta-with-corn-pancetta-cheese/

  • Reply
    Melanie
    April 20, 2013 at 11:28 pm

    I was impressed by this recipe when you posted it earlier this week, so I made it tonight for a friend. We enjoyed it very much. It’s a cinch to make, and so fresh and healthy! Will definitely make it again very soon! Thanks. :)

    • Reply
      Sonja
      April 20, 2013 at 11:41 pm

      Melanie — Wonderful! I’m so glad you tried it out and enjoyed it! It is so great to hear feedback on recipes, so thank you for taking the time to let us know :)

  • Reply
    Courtney Jones
    April 22, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    One look at this recipe and I know it will become a “go-to” meal in our home too. Sounds wonderful. We love lemon and arugula. Looks delicious! A really nice, nutritious way to get your fill of pasta for the week :)

  • Reply
    Tammy D
    April 28, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    I just clipped this to my Evernote recipe file. 5 years ago, I would have said putting white beans with pasta was just plain crazy, but now I do it all the time. So tasty and so healthy!

  • Reply
    Carolyn
    May 20, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    You mentioned about some things you had learned over the years not to rush when cooking. I was wondering if you have a compilation or could write a post about what all you have found is worth it to spend time cooking. I know I used to cook everything on high, and only recently have I been trying to cook things slower (kind of a must when making carmelized onions. ;-) ). I would love to read a post about what to give a little extra time to when cooking. Love your blog.

    • Reply
      Sonja
      May 26, 2013 at 9:46 pm

      Carolyn, this is a wonderful idea! I’ve added this to our list of post ideas. Thanks for mentioning!

  • Reply
    Judy
    May 9, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    Just made this for dinner and used a combo of spinach and arugula. It was delicious! Thank you for sharing. I will make it again!

  • Reply
    Pam
    September 14, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    I make this regularly. Simple and yummy. Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply
    Erin
    April 7, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    Wow! This was amazing! I added some sliced cherry tomatoes to it!

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