We did some serious local food shopping this past weekend and we made a feast on Saturday night with all of our goodies. I had grabbed a bunch of beautiful arugula from Native Offerings at the Elmwood Bidwell Farmers Market and a small container of spicy italian raw milk cheddar cheese curds at Five Points Bakery from Lapp Dairy and I knew I wanted to make some sort of pasta dish with it. I decided a pasta salad would be the perfect easy side dish to pair with the grilled chicken. The raw milk cheese curds were fantastic, they had a subtle spice that was just perfect with the tomatoes, arugula and fresh herbs. The crisp, peppery taste from the arugula was such a nice addition to the pasta salad, I will be adding that to a lot of pasta salads this summer. As usual, I used an organic brown rice pasta, but feel free to use your favorite pasta. I served the pasta salad at room temperature but it was equally good the next day, cold right out of the refrigerator.
This is our lovely pup, Derby. She loves nothing more than to hang by my side when I cook. She especially loves the nights we cook and eat outside on the patio.
Pasta Salad with Arugula, Tomatoes and Raw Milk Cheese
12 ounces organic brown rice pasta (I used fusilli)
2 cups fresh arugula, roughly chopped
1 pint cherry or plum tomatoes, halved
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
4 ounces spicy italian raw milk cheese curds, cut into cubes
wedge of fresh parmigiano-reggiano
freshly ground black pepper
red pepper flakes
Cook pasta in pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Rinse the pasta in warm water and drain. After pasta has been drained, move it to a large serving bowl. Add the roughly chopped arugula, halved tomatoes, minced garlic, herbs and olive oil. Carefully toss the pasta to combine all the ingredients, salt and pepper to taste and top with the cubes of cheese curds, lightly toss to mix the cheese throughout. Top with shredded parmigiano-reggiano and fresh herbs.