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Spicy spaghetti with arugula, lime, basil, and prosciutto

I love light pasta sauces during the summer months. These sauces are fresh, barely cooked and packed with flavor from the tomatoes in season. This is one of those beautiful sauces. As I have already mentioned, this is a light sauce, so the tomatoes you use should be beautifully flavored, try and get heirloom tomatoes, or other varieties that are vine ripened and packed with real flavor.

The sauce is light and the flavors come together beautifully. The profile is predominantly tomato, but the basil and salt from the cheese and prosciutto make it exceptional. The bitter leaves add a wonderful nuance. The finish is a touch of heat that is pleasant and makes you want to have more. I loved this summer pasta, it is the perfect on its own as a light meal, or pairs well with some grilled meats.

This is one of those cookbooks that hides in my library, and occasionally I spot it and cook from it. Every recipe is spectacular, the easy and healthy French cuisine that is designed to amaze you. The recipes range from savory tarts to salads to desserts, each one is beautiful to present and delicious.

For more recipes from this cookbook, click here.


4 tablespoons olive oil

1 red onion, sliced

4 garlic cloves, minced

Zest and juice of 1 lime

3 thyme sprigs or 1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 habanero chili or 2 red chilies, cut into thin circles

4 large tomatoes, blanched and peeled (optional), or just diced diced

1 bay leaf

2 teaspoons light brown sugar (Muscovado preferred if available)

Salt, to taste

1/2 teaspoon pepper

12 oz spaghetti

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 cups arugula or kale

1/4 cup basil, shredded by hand

Parmesan cheese, for the table

Prosciutto slices (optional)

In a pot heat the oil on medium heat and add the onions, garlic, lime zest, thyme, and chili and cook for 3-4 minutes till the onions are soft and translucent. Do not allow the onions to take on color.

Add the tomatoes, bay leaf, sugar salt and pepper and and cook on a lowered medium-low heat for 10 minutes. The tomatoes will soften and start to fall apart, however, do not cook them to a sauce.

Meanwhile cook the pasta according to the directions on the box minus 1 minute for al dante. Drain and set aside tossed in a tablespoon of olive oil.

When the sauce is ready, add the arugula and pasta to the sauce and cook on medium heat for 2-3 minutes, till the arugula is just wilted. Take off the heat and add the lime juice and basil and toss again.

Serve immediately garnished with a few sprigs of basil and Parmesan cheese on the side. Top with a few slices of prosciutto, if using.

NOTE: This is one of those pasta dishes that should be served immediately after making. If you want to make ahead, stop at the point before you add the arugula and pasta, and finish the dish right before you serve.

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