Do you remember that Wendy's commercial from the 80's where the funny old woman asked, "Where's the beef?" Well, Clara Peller, I've found it. It's been spending quality time with pasta and arugula in my kitchen.
If you've frequented this blog, you know that I don't cook a lot of meat. Why? Well, I have some weird meat issues, like being freaked out by bones in chicken or failing to cook some sort of protein to the right temperature which would then result in illness, perhaps death, which would be the most horrific outcome of any kitchen adventure and I would be so profoundly sad and at the very least this blog would be over and I may never step foot in a kitchen again because I would have officially become Allyson, Food Poisoner. Phew. See? Issues.
Well, I faced those fears the other night when I cooked this pasta for Doc. Step One to overcoming meat fear: Buy meat from a reputable butcher (I went to Earthfare). Step Two: Take all proper precautions during prep (hand washing, not using the raw meat cutting board again, hand washing, hand washing). Step Three: Follow recipe guidelines from start to finish, no stone left unturned, no steak turned too early.
With Giada's ever trusty guidance, this meal came out perfectly. I loved the flavor of the beef (perfect combo of seasonings and a nice sear from the cast iron) mixed with the brightness of the herbs and the peppery notes of the arugula. An added bonus of this recipe is that it can be served room temperature (can you say picnic?).
Penne with Beef and Arugula
from Giada De Laurentiis
1 (1 pound) New York Strip Steak
1 teaspoon herbs de Provence
1 garlic clove, minced
3/4 cup olive oil, plus 3 tablespoons
1 pound penne pasta
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for steak and pasta water
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more for steak
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
3 cups chopped arugula
- Season the steak with salt, pepper, herbs de Provence, and minced garlic. In a cast iron skillet, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Cook steak about 7 minutes per side. Remove the meat and then let it rest for 5 minutes. Thinly slice steak. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Salt the water, add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta, reserving 1/4 cup pasta water.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, fresh herbs, and 3/4 cup olive oil. In a large bowl, toss the pasta with 1/2 of the dressing and the reserved pasta water. Add the arugula and steak, more dressing, and season with salt and freshly ground pepper as needed. Toss and serve.