2 teaspoons mixed peppercorns
1 pound rigatoni pasta, preferably artisan-style
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1 small Spanish onion, diced
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
½ cup chopped Italian parsley
1½ teaspoons salt, preferably Hibiscus salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest, plus more for garnish
4 ounces Cabot Sharp Cheddar, cut into ¼-inch cubes
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes, preferably mixed orange and red
⅓ cup chopped fresh basil
4 cups loosely packed baby arugula, washed, spun dry and roughly chopped
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CRACK and mash peppercorns to desired consistency, with mortar and pestle. Alternatively, place peppercorns in zip-close plastic bag and mash with meat mallet. Set aside.
COOK rigatoni according to package directions until al dente. Drain, rinse and set aside. Wash and dry pot.
ADD oil to pot and place over medium-high heat until oil is hot but not smoking. Add garlic and cook, stirring often, until starting to brown, 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
ADD onion, and continue cooking, stirring often, until softened and starting to brown, about 2 to 5 minutes.
REDUCE heat to low and add rigatoni, stirring to coat with oil and garlic mixture. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and reserved peppercorns, stirring just until pasta is warmed through. Remove from heat.
STIR in parsley, salt and lemon zest. Add cheddar, tomatoes and basil. Add arugula and stir to combine. Serve with more lemon zest sprinkled on top.
Grace Potter's recipes are divine. I think I've watched all of her Cabot cooking videos. I just watched this one and it's next on my list to make. She's so fun. I'm a grandmother and I think she's awesome. Can I borrow some of her lingo to make my grandkids think I'm cool? Well, at least, the fam will love her recipes.